Calls for footy player who dragged a nurse into an alleyway and tried to rape her to be re-tried

Calls for footy player who dragged a nurse into an alleyway and tried to rape her to be re-tried

The sentence handed down to an amateur footballer who dragged a woman into an alleyway before pinning her to the ground and covering her mouth as she screamed has been labelled ‘manifestly inadequate’ by the shadow attorney general.

Jackson Williams spent 42 days in jail and received a two-and-a-half year community corrections order following the cowardly attack to a nurse in Melbourne CBD in 2018.

The 21-year-old talented football player was found guilty of common assault, but was acquitted of the more serious charge of intending to sexually assault the woman.

Shadow attorney general Edward O’Donohue has called for Williams to be re-tried in court after widespread community outrage at the punishment he received.

Jackson Williams (pictured left) was found not guilty of intended sexual assault after an incident in a Melbourne CBD alleyway 2018

Jackson Williams (pictured left) was found not guilty of intended sexual assault after an incident in a Melbourne CBD alleyway 2018

In a letter to Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr O’Donohue asked Kerri Judd QC to urgently reconsider Williams’ sentence.

‘This sentencing decision clearly does not meet community expectations nor does it provide the level of deterrence that the Victorian community is looking for in matters of serious assaults such as this,’ Mr O’Donohue said, as reported by The Herald Sun.

‘I respectfully request your urgent consideration of lodging an appeal against this prima facie manifestly inadequate sentence.’

Williams’ sentence from Judge Amanda Fox in Victoria’s County Court last week sparked community outrage.

More than 85,000 people have signed a change.org petition to have Williams’ sentence appealed.

Mr O’Donohue also wrote a letter to Victims of Crime Commissioner Fiona McCormack calling for Wiliiams’ to be re-tried.

‘I respectfully request that you join the calls from the community and the Opposition for the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider an appeal against this apparent manifestly inadequate sentence,’ Mr O’Donohue wrote.

Williams was 19 years old when he hauled the woman into a Melbourne CBD alley shortly after 6am on October 28, 2018 following a night of drinking and clubbing.

The then 18-year-old dragged a nurse into an alleyway (pictured) and covered her mouth to stop her screaming

The then 18-year-old dragged a nurse into an alleyway (pictured) and covered her mouth to stop her screaming

The talented football player (pictured) spent just 42 days behind bars for the cowardly assault

The talented football player (pictured) spent just 42 days behind bars for the cowardly assault

The attack on the 39-year-old nurse – who was on her way to work at a city hospital – ‘shattered her world’, the court heard.

Williams maintains he cannot remember the attack, which lasted 37 seconds.

The assault was interrupted when Adrian Woodgate, an off-duty cop from New Zealand, yelled at Williams, who then fled the scene on foot.

CCTV of the incident shows Williams grabbing the woman in a headlock and pulling her into Healeys Lane as she screamed and struggled.

He put his hand over her mouth and was on top of her before running away when an off-duty police officer intervened.

Judge Fox said while the attack was ‘intentional and violent’ it was also clear Williams had acted on the spur of the moment.

‘What you did shattered her sense of confidence, security and safety,’ Judge Fox said in sentencing on November 18.

Williams was captured on CCTV (pictured) pinning the woman down before fleeing the scene when he was interrupted by an off-duty detective

Williams was captured on CCTV (pictured) pinning the woman down before fleeing the scene when he was interrupted by an off-duty detective

‘She screamed and did her best to resist you but you were much bigger and stronger than she was. You had a hand over her mouth in an attempt to silence her.’

A psychologist told the court Williams – who has a low IQ, alcohol issues, and social anxiety – could not explain why he carried out the attack.

Prosecutors said the fact he could not recognise his motivations showed he could not have remorse.

The victim did, however, receive a written apology from Williams two years after the attack, the court heard.

Williams has received racial abuse and death threats since the security footage of the attack was released.

The home he shares with his grandparents was also attacked by vigilantes armed with baseball bats.

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