18 May 2022

Ex-ALS worker admits she tried to cover up alleged 'violent and degrading assault'

| Albert McKnight
Woman walking across road

Loretta Alamani Tulikaki (right, looking back at the camera) leaving court after entering a guilty plea. Photo: Albert McKnight.

A former Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) worker has admitted she tried to cover up what police claim was a “violent and degrading assault” by trying to destroy evidence, including saying “the blood needs to be removed” from a pair of shoes.

Court documents allege the complainant was assaulted, including being kicked six times in the face, at a home in Dunlop early on 26 March 2022 in an attack that lasted 12 minutes and was filmed by people there. The man’s mobile phone was also allegedly stolen.

“The assault is extremely serious,” police said.

That night, 24-year-old Loretta Alamani Tulikaki went to the home after it had been raided by police and told officers she was there as a client services officer for the ALS.

Police then checked closed-circuit television footage (CCTV) and saw Tulikaki had already gone to the home several hours earlier, about 10 hours after the alleged assault.

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She spoke to two of the co-accused about deleting CCTV of the alleged assault, getting rid of the complainant’s phone and having someone approach the complainant to “sort the matter out”.

She told the pair to collect the clothing they were wearing during the alleged assault and told them, “Clothes will burn”. She also told one of the men to get his shoes and said “they need to be bleached”.

“I need to go do something with them. The blood needs to be removed,” she said.

One of the men put “anything with blood on it” in bags on her instructions.

When it came to the complainant’s phone and an identification card, Tulikaki said she would “wipe them down” and used a sanitising wipe to clean them before putting them in a plastic bag.

Soon afterwards she drove away in her work vehicle with the other two, along with the bags containing items collected from the home.

“It is clear from the events captured on the CCTC footage the defendant is acting to intentionally pervert the course of justice and destroy evidence,” police said in the documents.

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Tulikaki was arrested in April. In the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday (17 May), she pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to intentionally pervert the course of justice.

Magistrate Louise Taylor continued the O’Connor woman’s bail, ordered a court duty report and listed her for sentencing on 2 June.

Several others have been charged over the alleged assault and remain before the courts.

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