Girl, 11, kills herself after man accused of raping her was set free on bail - as her distraught family say the system 'let her down'

  • Year six student takes her own life weeks after her sex abuser was granted bail
  • The tragedy has sent shock waves through Western Australia's legal system 
  • The girl's distraught mother said the police and the courts 'let her baby down'
  • The case reignites concerns over lack of support for Aboriginal victims of crime

An 11-year-old girl has taken her own life just weeks after the man accused of brutally raping her was freed on bail.   

The Year 6 student was airlifted to Perth Children's Hospital from a rural community on Monday and died from her self-inflicted injuries the following day.  

Her alleged abuser was arrested in September and charged with sexual penetration of a child under 13 and indecent dealings with a child - but was released on bail the same day.   

The girl's distraught mother told the West Australian her 11-year-old had been left traumatised after learning her alleged rapist was back in the community.

'They let my baby down, the police, the courts... she had a lovely personality, was bubbly and outgoing.' she said.  

WA Police Minister Michelle Roberts said she was 'concerned' about the case.

'The death of any child is always distressing... I will ask police for advice about this case, but I can add nothing more at this time, apart from extending my thoughts and prayers to the young girl and her family,' she said.  

National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project director, Gerry Georgatos, said the decision to grant the alleged predator bail was a mistake.

He said remand laws for those charged with child sex crimes need to be tightened. 

'The police, too, need to do much more to assist particularly vulnerable impoverished families,' he said. 

About 100 of the girl's family members and loved ones arrived at the hospital to pay their respects on Tuesday.

Many of them slept in their cars overnight before saying their final farewell.

One of the girl's aunts said she wanted the details of the case to be exposed because authorities need to be made accountable.

About 100 family members and loved ones arrived at the Perth Children's hospital to pay their respects to the girl

About 100 family members and loved ones arrived at the Perth Children's hospital to pay their respects to the girl

A Western Australian Police spokesman said the family members who have arrived at the hospital are being given access to support and counselling.

WA Department of Communities - the body responsible for investigating all child protection matters - said it is unable to comment on individual cases.

However its executive director of service delivery Lindsay Hale extended the department's condolences to the girl's grieving family. 

'The death of any young person, regardless of circumstance, is a tragedy that is devastating in its impact on the families and communities involved,' he said. 

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Indigenous children aged between five and 17, the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018 Causes of Death report found.  

'Over the five years from 2014 to 2018, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children accounted for close to a quarter of all child suicide deaths (85 of 357 deaths),' the report said.

'The age-specific death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child suicide was 8.3 deaths per 100,000, compared to 2.1 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous children.'

The man charged with the girl's sexual abuse is due to appear in Perth Magistrate's Court before the end of this year.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, you can call

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14,
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. 


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