Saturday’s Wangetti Beach attack and Toyah case “not related”


Karlie Brady


Email Karlie
Like undecided Liked Like disabled
Dislike Dislike undecided Dislike disabled
Last updated:
A man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Wangetti Beach, south of Port Douglas on Saturday.
Like undecided Liked Like disabled
Dislike undecided Disliked Dislike disabled

A sexual attack at Wangetti Beach over the weekend just a “couple hundred metres” from where Toyah Cordingley was murdered almost two years ago, has sent a chill through the community, however, police say the attacks were not linked.

At about 9:00am on Saturday 4 July at Wangetti Beach, police alleged that a 20-year-old Kowanyama man who cannot be named for legal reasons, sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, attempting to rape her before she managed to flee from the beach.

Detective Inspector, Jason Smith, said the man allegedly approached the woman who had recently moved to the Cairns area, engaging her in conversation.

“They went for a walk along the beach where upon his intent turned quite savagely and he has (allegedly) assaulted her with intent to rape,” he said.

Police conducted an investigation and apprehended the man in Mossman a few hours later. 

- Woman allegedly sexually assaulted on Wangetti Beach
- Woman's body found at Wangetti Beach
- Toyah Cordingley murder: police renew call for information

He was charged and appeared in the Cairns Magistrates Court earlier today where he was given strict bail conditions. The case was adjourned until next month.

Inspector Smith said the man had a “motor vehicle malfunction” which led him to be in the Wangetti area at the same time as the women.

“His intent can only be obtained from what we can prove so far, it appears to be somewhat random. He has taken advantage of the situation that was presented to him.”

Inspector Smith said the woman was left shocked.

“This is a perfectly normal time to be on the beach at Wangetti. It is 9:00 am in the morning and there is the expectation of safety and unfortunately this random offender has also been at the beach.

“This was a distressing thing to have happen. It wasn’t what she expected.

“She is not from the Cairns area and she struck up what she thought was a friendly conversation but unfortunately this person had other ideas,” he said.

Inspector Smith said the proximity of this attack to the site of Toyah Cordingley’s unsolved murder is coincidental and there is no link.

“In the context of the Cordingley matter, to have this occur is very concerning but I stress they are not related.

“The offender is alleged to have been returning to the Mossman area and where upon his motor vehicle has broken down and that is why he was there.

“This was random and seemingly a spur of the movement thing.”

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact Policelink.

Submit a letter to the editor here.

* Readers are encouraged to use their full details to ensure letter legitimacy.

Send news tips and videos here

* Comments are the opinions of readers and do not represent the views of Newsport, its staff or affiliates. Reader comments on Newsport are moderated before publication to promote valuable, civil, and healthy community debate. Visit our comment guidelines if your comment has not been approved for publication.