A small town in Australia has been branded “completely lawless” as its lack of police presence has made horrific sex attacks and violence run rampant.
The town known as Fregon, in Southern Australia is totally off the radar of cops, and has now been thrust into the spotlight after a nurse was brutally raped and murdered.
Fregon is an Aboriginal community, where Indigenous peoples of the Australian mainland live. It is one of six in the APY lands.
Home to up to 300 people at any one time, the closest police are located more than half an hour away in Umuwa – which is not permanently manned by police itself.
A nurse known as Gayle Woodford, 56, took up a job with Nganampa Health Council in South Australia, and often went to Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.
The mother-of-two’s body was found in a shallow grave three days after she went missing from her home in Fregon – some 1,300km north of Adelaide in 2016, reports the Daily Mail.
She was killed at the hands of a local resident, who used her community ambulance to dump her body.
The Coroner in charge of the case, Anthony Schapel has now handed down a damning report following an inquest into her death.
He recommends a permanent police presence should be established in the area given the concerning levels of violence and “atmosphere of dysfunction”.
Mr Schapel says a police presence in the town would act as deterrent for other crimes.
The coroner said: “The evidence of those witnesses who were called and who expressed a view about police presence in the Fregon community having regard to the level of lawlessness within it, would suggest that a permanent police presence would be essential.
“The proposition that a community in which certain of its members need to be protected by cages does not require an immediate police presence within that community would, I think, strike the ordinary man or woman in the street as perverse.”
The man behind Gayle’s death, Dudley Davey, lured Gayle from her home, claiming he needed medical help before abducting her.
He has pleaded guilty to her rape and murder and has been jailed for at least 32 years.
Davey, a known sexual predator had a long history of violence against women and had several other sex assault offences against his name prior to murdering Gayle a matter of months after leaving jail.
The court heard during his trial how he had assaulted another nurse in Fregon back in 1998.
The coroner’s report added: “The practitioner described Fregon as “completely lawless” and the most violent place in which she had resided and worked while employed by the NHC in the APY Lands.
“To the point where she believed serious consideration needed to be given to the withdrawal of services from this community so as to bring it to its closure.
“Mrs Woodford’s murder is in keeping with the general lawlessness within the Fregon community and the fact that this atmosphere of dysfunction and violence largely remained unchecked.”