true crime

EXPLAINER: The 2011 Brisbane rape case that very nearly slipped through the police's hands.

Just 10 minutes after they were sent home on Tuesday afternoon, the jury in Brisbane’s West End rape trial announced they were ready to deliver a verdict.

Guilty. Guilty.

After three hours of deliberations, the District Court jurors convicted Jack Scott Turner Winship and Ryan David George of raping a 20-year-old female medical student in 2011.

The woman was walking to catch a late-night bus in the city’s West End when the two men pulled her into a laneway and attacked her. She was a virgin prior to the assault.

The case, which dominated headlines in Brisbane at the time, was described by Queensland Police Inspector Rod Kemp as the most brutal rape he had investigated in his career.

“She was most aggressively raped in the worst way that I have seen in my service,” he said in 2011.

“All I can say is [the victim] did the right thing as far as I’m concerned; she stuck to the main drag as she walked down to catch the bus, but unfortunately this happened. So it shows you’ve got to be very wary of your own safety.”

‘These guys are trying to hurt me.’

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was leaving a private function at a nightclub on Boundary Street at about 11:30pm on April 11, 2011, when she encountered Turner Winship and George.

The men manoeuvred the intoxicated woman into a nearby alley, where they raped her. After the attack she was discovered with blood on her legs and hands. The man who found her gave evidence during the trial and, according to The Courier Mail, told the court that she appeared “out of it” and said, “These guys are trying to hurt me.”

According to the paper, the District Court jury were shown disturbing photographs of bloody hand prints left at the location of the assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yet throughout legal proceedings, Turner Winship and George maintained the encounter was entirely consensual, and the former even claimed she made “pleasurable noises” throughout.

“We were all over each other,” Turner Winship told the court on Friday, according to The Brisbane Times. “She was enjoying herself. It was a fluid experience.”

Those “pleasurable noises”, the woman’s lawyer argued, were in fact the sound of her client “wincing in pain”.

‘Yeah we told our friends about it.’

The court heard that after the rape, Turner Winship and George continued on to a nearby pub to meet friends, where witnesses reported hearing them brag about the event.

When the allegations were put to Turner Winship in court, he replied, “Well, yeah, we had a sexual encounter, so yeah we told our friends about it,” according to The Brisbane Times.

“We had no reason to not tell anyone.”

Still, it took five years before the pair was arrested and charged. The breakthrough came after Queensland Police issued a new appeal for information in 2016.

“I thank the members of the public who not only called more recently but also back in 2011,” Detective Inspector Garry Watts said following the arrests, according to ABC. “We received a large amount of information and that information has led us to the result that we have achieved.”

Turner Winship and George are due to be sentenced today.

With AAP.

thousand girls project

Thank you - just by clicking on this and other content on Mamamia, you are helping to fund education for some of the world’s most disadvantaged girls.

Together with our commercial clients and charity partner Room to Read, Mamamia's goal is to be funding 1,000 girls in school each and every day, by June 2020.

Learn more here about our ongoing mission to make the world a better place for women and girls.

FROM OUR NETWORK
00:00 / ???