Refugee admits rape, tells chaplain sorry isn't enough

A newly arrived Sudanese refugee who went on a sex-crime spree after taking amphetamines, has told a Catholic Prison Ministry chaplain that he was an "evil person" for the terrible thing he had done.

Hakeem Hakeem was found guilty last month of the rape of a 16-year-old girl, a court was told yesterday, according to an Age report.

He also took amphetamines for the first time before raping and bashing a 63-year-old woman in her home the next day.

Prosecutor Michele Williams said Mr Hakeem choked the elderly woman and slashed her throat twice.

"She thought she was going to die," Ms Williams said.

According to Greg Connellan, his lawyer, Mr Hakeem, who is the son of a Catholic lay preacher, also told Sr Mary O'Shannassy from the Catholic Prison Ministry that he was an "evil person".

"My world is dark, I did a terrible thing, I never feel happy," Mr Hakeem told her.

"What I did I will carry all my life with me. To say sorry is not enough."

Mr Connellan said that as a child Mr Hakeem witnessed his grandfather's slaughter in southern Sudan.

After Mr Hakeem's family fled the civil war in Sudan for Egypt in 1999, they were the victims of discrimination and violence.

Mr Connellan said Mr Hakeem had asked him whether he would be executed by electric chair.

"He is a man who has had a very difficult life," Mr Connellan said.

"He has been subjected to violence that most of us will fortunately never come across."

He said at the time of his offences Mr Hakeem was depressed about his girlfriend and one-year-old daughter not being able to come to Australia.

The pre-sentence hearing was adjourned until Thursday.

Sudanese refugee in court over rapes (Sydney Morning Herald, 12/9/06)
'Evil' rapist's violent life (The Age, 12/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Prison Ministry, Victoria

Sydney bishop outraged at slaying of refugee (CathNews 21/2/06)
Brisbane Catholic group urges Govt to fix prisons (CathNews 2/11/05)
Pope appeals for end to Sudan abuses (CathNews 23/7/04)

12 Sep 2006