Murder of Iris Temperley

Iris Daphne Temperley (née Donovan; 2 March 1927 – 3 February 2010) was an Australian woman who was murdered in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.[1]

Iris Temperley
Born(1927-03-02)2 March 1927
Died3 February 2010(2010-02-03) (aged 82)
Cause of deathHomicide (bashing)
SpouseGordon Temperley (1949-2004; his death)

18-year-old David Samuel Aubrey Ray randomly attacked and raped 82-year-old Temperley in the backyard of her home in George Street in the suburb of Rockhampton City on the morning of 26 January 2010.[2] He inflicted extensive injuries to Temperley in the particularly violent attack, which caused considerable anger within the Rockhampton community.[1][3]

Temperley died from her injuries at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on 3 February 2010 without having regained consciousness.[4][5]

Background edit

Temperley was born Iris Daphne Donovan at Springsure, Queensland on 2 March 1927.[6] She married Gordon Temperley on 1 December 1949 at St Paul's Cathedral in Rockhampton, and together they had five children.[6]

After spending some time managing a cattle property north of Duaringa, the Temperley's moved to Rockhampton in 1959 and purchased a house in George Street where the family settled.[6]

At the time of her death, Temperley had 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.[5]

Murder edit

Temperley was raking leaves in the backyard of her George Street home when she was set upon by Ray who used a fire extinguisher in the attack, causing Temperley to sustain extensive injuries including skull swelling, broken nose, fractured ribs, fractured sternum, collapsed lung, and tearing to her genitals, causing profuse bleeding.[1]

Ray attacked Temperley after having stolen alcohol from the Leichhardt Hotel in Bolsover Street, and before committing a burglary at a neighbouring house.[1]

Temperley was admitted to the intensive care unit at Rockhampton Hospital in a critical condition before being flown to Brisbane, where she died from her injuries on 3 February 2010.[7][1]

After Temperley's death, a public memorial was held at St Paul's Cathedral, which was attended by more than 100 people.[4]

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten said that Temperley's death had affected the Rockhampton community, stating: "Disbelief, revulsion, anger and fear has riled through this community."[4]

Arrest edit

On 27 January 2010, Ray attended the Rockhampton Police Station with a relative where he admitted to assaulting an elderly lady but claimed to be having difficulty remembering specific details.[2]

He was arrested and ultimately charged with murder and rape as well as stealing and property offences.[2]

After a mention in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court in September 2010, a committal hearing was scheduled for November 2010.[8] Following the three-day committal hearing, magistrate Annette Hennessy ordered Ray to stand trial for the rape and murder of Iris Temperley.[9]

Trial edit

Ray's trial in the Rockhampton Supreme Court was held in September 2011 where he pleaded guilty to one count of murder and two counts of rape for which he received life sentences.[5] An additional 15 years was added to his prison term for the burglary at Temperley's home as well as numerous other offences.[5]

A psychiatrist's report was tendered to the court but Justice Duncan McMeekin said despite the report indicating that Ray had felt genuine remorse while also detailing his long-standing substance abuse problem, there was no psychiatric excuse for what Ray had done.[2]

McMeekin described the facts of the case as "appalling" given that Temperley was "a frail elderly lady of 82 years" and told Ray: "You murdered her by causing injuries which caused her death some days later... The doctors were unable to stop the bleeding. Fortunately, she did not regain consciousness after your attack."[5]

Appeal edit

Ray argued that some of the sentences were manifestly excessive and successfully appealed to have his sentence reduced.[10] In a judgement, the Queensland Court of Appeal reduced Ray's sentence for Temperley's rape to 14 years and his sentence for burglary to three years.[10]

Despite this, the sentences were still to be served concurrently with his life sentence for Temperley's murder.[10]

Legacy edit

In 2020, Temperley's name was added to an online memorial called The Red Heart Campaign, designed by journalist Sherele Moody to honour women and children who had died as a result of acts of violence.[11]

As of April 2023, Ray was still incarcerated at the Capricornia Correctional Centre.[12]

Temperley's nephew, Vern Donovan, who served as Fitzroy Shire Council's chief executive officer from 1965 to 2000, briefly wrote about Temperley's death in his autobiography You're Sincerely: My life's experiences and lessons learned, thus far.[13]

Donovan said his elderly mother Merle Donovan was close to her sister-in-law and would speak regularly to Temperley on the phone. He said that Temperley's "sudden and cruel murder" had caused his mother who was residing in a Yeppoon retirement village to go into a "severe state of shock", and arrangements had to be made to have her transferred into a more calming area of the facility.[13]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Oberhardt, Mark (13 December 2011). "Grandmother bled to death after being raped by teenager in her backyard on Australia Day". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d Mesner, Kerri-Anne (19 September 2011). "Details of rape horror revealed". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  3. ^ Ironside, Robyn; O'Loan, James (27 January 2010). "Police hunt backyard attacker of woman, 82". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "Rockhampton mourns elderly bash victim". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Life sentence for vicious rape, murder". CQ News. 14 September 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  6. ^ a b c Siegmeier, Melinda (11 February 2010). "Farewell for Iris Temperley". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Woman, 82, critical after vicious attack". The Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2023.
  8. ^ Lewis, Megan (7 September 2010). "November trial for man accused of killing 82yo". ABC News. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  9. ^ Elsworth, Sophie (4 November 2010). "Teen to stand trial over death of Rockhampton grandmother Iris Temperley, 82". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  10. ^ a b c Robinson, Paul (14 December 2011). "Grandma killer gets reduced rape sentence". ABC News. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  11. ^ Smith, Kaitlyn (24 November 2020). "CQ mum to be honoured in new online memorial". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 30 August 2023. The Red Heart Campaign also pays tribute to Rockhampton and Yeppoon residents such as Lisa Jackson, Mima Joan McKim-Hill, Michelle Coral Lewis, Julie Dawn Turner, Beverley Doreen Leggo, Keyra Steinhardt, Sylvia Maria Benedetti, Nicole Margaret Lieske, Iris Temperley...
  12. ^ Jarrett, Vanessa (6 April 2023). "Murderers serving life sentences at Capricornia Correctional Centre". The Morning Bulletin. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  13. ^ a b Donovan, Vern (2022). Yours sincerely: My life's experiences and lessons learned, thus far. Independently published. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-646-83636-2.