Gwynneville grandmother tells court vicious assault and rape has left her 'paralysed with fear'

A 77-year-old woman viciously bashed and raped at Gwynneville last year has told a court her life has been irreversibly changed by the horrific assault, while her attacker used his time in the witness box to beg for forgiveness.

Christopher Coombs was on an ice bender and believed he was being hunted by drug dealers when he entered the woman’s flat just after 3.30am on July 6 and subjected her to a degrading, violent attack that left her with horrific injuries including a fractured skull.

Reading a victim impact statement out in court on Friday, the woman said she now lived in a constant state of anger, fear and sadness.

“The impact this vicious attack has had on my life has been catastrophic,” she said.

“If someone drops something or there is a sudden noise I'm paralysed with fear … I’ve lost my feeling of safety and comfort.”

She also said the attack had deeply affected her children.

If someone drops something or there is a sudden noise I'm paralysed with fear ... I’ve lost my feeling of safety and comfort - The 77-year-old victim

”My daughter has put her life on hold to care for me,” she said.

“My independence has been taken away.”

The court heard Coombs crept into the woman’s home that night, pulled off her underwear and tried to rape her but couldn’t perform the act, so demanded oral sex instead.

When the woman refused, Coombs wrapped a tie around her neck, forced her onto the ground and picked up the hammer he had been carrying before repeatedly hitting her in the head.

Neighbours later told police they heard a thud and muffled screams, however when they shone a light through the window, Coombs was gone..

Instead, they found the victim on the floor across the other side of the room, covered in blood.

She was later found to have fractures to two skull bones, a shattered left jaw and left cheek and a fractured eye socket.

Taking the stand in court on Friday, Coombs said he had not taken his prescribed medication in the week leading up to the incident and was in a state of paranoia, which had been heightened by his use of ice.

“I was manic, off my head,” he said of his mental state at the time.

He said he couldn't believe he’d “stooped so low”.

“I’m so sorry for what happened … the emotional scars I’ve left her with … I just can’t explain how sorry I am,” he said.

“If I could take it back in a second I would.”

Coombs will be sentenced in Parramatta District Court on December 8.

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