Man Charged in Death of Emma Bates in Northern Victoria, Australia

A 39-year-old man charged in the death of a 49-year-old woman in Australia, sparking national concern over violence against women. The case highlights the ongoing crisis and calls for greater government action.

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Geeta Pillai
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Man Charged in Death of Emma Bates in Northern Victoria, Australia

Man Charged in Death of Emma Bates in Northern Victoria, Australia

A 39-year-old man, allegedly, charged, John Torney, has been charged in connection with the death of Emma Bates, a 49-year-old woman from Cobram, northern Victoria, Australia. Bates was found dead inside home on Tuesday with injuries consistent with an assault.

Torney, who had previously been acquitted of murdering a toddler in 2015, was arrested and charged with various offenses related to Bates' death, including intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, common law assault, aggravated assault of a female, and unlawful assault. The police investigation is ongoing, and the exact cause of Bates' death remains inconclusive based on an early postmortem examination.

Why this matters: Bates' death is the 26th alleged violent death of a woman in Australia this year, highlighting the ongoing issue of violence against women in the country. The case has sparked national concern and calls for greater government action to address the crisis.

Bates' family described her as a devoted aunt with a big heart who was frequently hospitalized due to her type 1 diabetes. They said Bates had recently started a relationship with Torney, who they were warned about by a relative when he moved in nearby. The family is struggling to understand why more serious charges have not been brought against Torney, as they believe his alleged actions led to Bates' death, even if a pre-existing condition may have contributed.

The Cobram community remembered Bates as a well-respected and lovely person who cared for her parents and was always willing to help others, despite her own health challenges. Longtime resident Raymond Fitzpatrick said, "She was a well-liked person in the town. She looked after her mum and dad, and now this has happened. It's just devastating."

Torney faced a court hearing on Thursday and is expected to appear before the Shepparton Magistrates' Court on Friday. Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan condemned the violence against women and called for the community to address disrespect for women, stating, "Every woman has the right to be safe in their home, in their community, in their workplace. This is not an issue that women can solve alone. It is an issue that men need to step up and play a significant role in addressing."

Key Takeaways

  • 39-year-old man, John Torney, charged in death of Emma Bates, 49, in Cobram, Victoria
  • Torney previously acquitted of toddler murder in 2015, now faces various assault charges
  • Bates' death is 26th alleged violent death of a woman in Australia this year
  • Bates' family believes Torney's actions led to her death, despite pre-existing condition
  • Victorian Premier condemns violence against women, calls for men to address disrespect