‘Go back home’: Women targeted in vicious racist attacks
Three Asian women were viciously assaulted by groups of youths in public during a spate of racially motivated attacks around Geelong.
One was repeatedly spat on and told to "go back home", while the other two victims were punched in the head and kicked while on the ground.
The unprovoked attacks - which took place between November 2019 and March 2020 - occurred in Marshall, Manifold Heights and on-board a Geelong train.
Disturbing details about the incidents surfaced at a children's court on Wednesday as a girl, 14, pleaded guilty to charges relating to the attacks.
Prosecutor Senior Constable Siobhan Daly said each of the attacks involved "significant" racial undertones and were carried out with a "pack-like" mentality.
The first incident took place at Marshall railway station after a woman exited a V/Line train about 10.30pm on November 28.
The 14-year-old girl was among a group of four who verbally abused the victim, before surrounding her on the station platform and attempting to steal her phone.
One assailant punched the woman in the head before others joined in on the attack.
The court heard the victim escaped with bruising and soreness, but had been left shaken and scared by the incident.
Two days later, a woman of Indian background was confronted moments after boarding a V/Line train at Geelong railway station.
The woman was in a toilet when she heard banging at the door and opened it to find three youths - including the teenage girl - standing outside.
The court heard the girl told the two males with her to punch, kick and spit on the woman.
The pair followed her instructions, assaulting and spitting on the victim while shouting: "What are you doing here? Go back home, you smell like an onion. Smelly, smelly."
One of the trio demanded money, before the attackers fled with the victim's purse when the train arrived at North Geelong.
The final attack involved a knife being drawn on a woman after she stepped off a bus on Shannon Avenue about 6.30pm on March 15.
The teenage girl produced a kitchen knife and demanded the victim's phone and wallet.
When the woman did not hand them over, she was struck with a volley of punches, before being repeatedly punched and kicked while defenceless on the ground.
The court heard the woman had since moved away from Geelong and was now afraid to leave her home.
"Some days I think: 'Why did this happen to me? Why did they choose me?'" she said in a victim impact statement.
The teenage girl pleaded guilty to charges including assault, affray and armed robbery.
Constable Daly said the teenager played a leading role in each of the attacks, while she argued the racial undertones were highly relevant.
Magistrate Franz Holzer said the crimes were troubling, telling the girl each of the victims deserved to feel safe in the community.
"Australia is an inclusive and multicultural society," he said. "We need to show tolerance to others who are different to you. Unless something changes, these kind of ill-informed attitudes will spread and become worse."
The girl was sentenced to a 12-month youth supervision order.
Originally published as 'Go back home': Women targeted in vicious racist attacks