Canberra Man Charged After Brutal Random Attack on Woman Walking Dogs

Canberra, Australia – A man in Canberra faces charges after being accused of assaulting a woman in a violent attack described as random and unprovoked. The incident occurred as the woman was walking her dogs in Kambah. The man allegedly began shouting at the woman as she neared her home, prompting her to try and retreat out of fear for her safety. However, a physical altercation ensued when the man approached her, as detailed in police statements submitted to the ACT Magistrates Court.

According to the police report, during the altercation, the woman resorted to grabbing the man’s genitals in an attempt to break free from the situation. The situation escalated, with the man allegedly forcing the woman’s head into a garden bed with force, putting her in a headlock, headbutting her on the nose causing it to bleed, pulling out clumps of her hair, and even biting her finger. The man, identified as Sammy Heikurinen, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Appearing in court the next day with a visible black eye, Mr. Heikurinen was described by the prosecutor as having no prior contact with the victim, portraying the incident as a senseless act of violence. Magistrate Sean Richter expressed concern over the nature of the case, emphasizing the randomness of the attack on a stranger.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Mr. Heikurinen struggles with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Magistrate Richter acknowledged the need for intervention, stating that something had clearly gone wrong. Despite this, Mr. Heikurinen was granted bail under strict conditions, including avoiding Kambah, staying 100 meters away from the woman, and seeking support services for his mental health issues.

Gillian Bilton, the Legal Aid lawyer representing Mr. Heikurinen, assured the court that her client was dedicated to addressing his mental health concerns. The case is set to return to court for further proceedings next month to assess the ongoing situation and ensure appropriate measures are in place for all parties involved.