Two young women were “terrorised” and a Year 12 student bitten on the arm in an attack a justice has described as “uncalled for”.
Trudy Pearl Murray, 27, was sentenced to over two-and-a-half years in jail after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and assault over the attack.
Her ACT Supreme Court judgment shows on 24 October 2020, the two young women were driving in a Toyota Corolla on Hindmarsh Drive in Stirling when they saw people in a Holden Astra begin throwing items out of their car.
Using what Justice Michael Elkaim said were “not offensive” hand gestures, the two women questioned why those in the Astra were chucking items out of their car.
But the driver of the Astra pulled behind the Corolla and crashed into the back of their car. It then overtook them and again crashed into it, bringing it to a stop on Pearson Street in Holder.
Murray and her partner, Akeem Alberts, got out of the car. While Alberts opened the Corolla’s door brandishing a knife, Murray jumped into the car’s back seat.
Murray punched the teenaged passenger in the eye and bit her wrist for about five seconds to make the student drop her phone. The teen and her driver then both fled their attackers.
Another driver, who had seen the crash, stopped to help. But Murray and Alberts approached her, with the latter gesturing with his knife, and she left before finding the two from the Corolla and calling the police.
Murray and Alberts drove away in the Corolla before they and the car were found by police later the same day.
The Year 12 student received medical treatment for the bite on her arm, requiring a tetanus vaccine and antibiotics for the wound.
“She also required blood tests to exclude viruses including HIV and Hepatitis B,” Justice Elkaim said.
“Fortunately, all the test results were negative. She required a vaccine booster and will require further testing.”
He said the attack impacted her in many ways. She has started having panic attacks and was anxious when driving.
“She feels unsafe when she is alone, in particular at night. Her relationships have suffered. She needed a dispensation for her exams. She also suffered economic loss, including the loss of her motorcar, her phone, her laptop, her air pods and some medication,” he said.
“The driver has also suffered in a similar way. She has found her first year of university to be very difficult. She has required treatment, which has been funded by her parents, who have been a great support to her.
“It is abundantly obvious that the offending has had a very marked effect on the two young women, and it is an effect that will stay with them for a long time, if not permanently.”
But Justice Elkaim also said the lifestyle described by the two young victims was never available to Murray.
“This does not in any way excuse her actions, but does give some perspective to the offender’s background,” he said.
He said she had ended her relationship with Alberts and regretted the attack, as she said her actions were “stupid” and she felt “disgusted” by her behaviour.
“She grew up in deprived circumstances. She was clearly unable to grasp whatever chance of avoiding involvement in crime that was ever available to her,” Justice Elkaim said.
In May 2021, Alberts was sentenced to about two years and six months’ jail for the attack, with a non-parole period of 18 months.
Murray was given a non-parole period of 14 months. She can be released from jail in February 2022.
“The whole incident was uncalled for. Two young women were terrorised,” Justice Elkaim said.