SYDNEY: A 30-year-old Singaporean has been arrested in Australia after allegedly attempting to murder a 20-year-old woman from Hong Kong whom he had met online.
Following a manhunt, the man was arrested yesterday at about 2.45pm when he returned to the scene of the crime in the city of Brisbane and was spotted by television crews, who alerted police.
The man has been accused of hitting the woman in the head with a hammer and repeatedly stabbing her in the upper body on Monday night at an Airbnb accommodation that he had rented.
The attack left the woman recovering in hospital with a fractured skull.
“She had stab wounds to both shoulders and a significant head injury,” Inspector Steve Flori from Queensland police told Australian TV broadcaster Channel Nine.
Police said the Singaporean entered Australia on Sunday as a tourist and had previously been in a relationship with the woman, who has been living in the state of Queensland. He allegedly met the woman online a couple of months ago and had visited Australia to see her once previously.
The brutal attack led the police to release the man’s photograph and issue a public call for his capture.
He fled the scene on foot after the attack at 9.30pm on Monday, wearing only red and black boxer shorts and a white T-shirt, with no shoes.
He left his passport and wallet at the Airbnb property in the Brisbane suburb of Norman Park. His image had been captured by security cameras in the area as he ran away.
Detective Senior Sergeant Rodney Watts from Queensland police said the reason for the attack was unknown. “He had returned (to Australia) to see her again,” he said. “I’m not sure what the motivation is at this point in time… All the possessions he brought with him when he arrived two days ago have been left where the attack occurred.”
The man reportedly fled on Monday after the owners of the property where he was staying heard the attack. He was filmed yesterday by television crews in his rented room, wearing only boxer shorts.
“He kept asking for an ambulance and water,” a Channel Nine reporter, Mr Rob Morrison, told the Brisbane Times. The man did not look to be injured.
The woman was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, with non-life-threatening injuries. She speaks Cantonese and English. Police said the man’s age was 30 but he was also reported as being 31.
Police said they had contacted the Singapore High Commission and Australian immigration officials to find out if the man has any family or associates in Australia. An Airbnb spokesman said it was helping the police with investigations. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network