Eury­dice Dixon: Jaymes Todd pleads guilty to rape and mur­der of co­me­dian

The Guardian Australia - - Headlines - Aus­tralian Associated Press

A 19-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the rape and mur­der of Mel­bourne co­me­dian Eury­dice Dixon, whose body was found in a sub­ur­ban park, and whose death sparked a na­tional out­cry over sex­ual as­sault and vi­o­lence against women.

Jaymes Todd fol­lowed her from Flin­ders Street Sta­tion, for some 5km across the city, un­til at­tacked the young woman at Carl­ton North’s Princes Park overnight on June 12.

A passer-by found the 22-year-old’s body about 3am.

Todd, 19, from Broad­mead­ows, pleaded guilty to mur­der, rape, at­tempted rape and sex­ual as­sault in Mel­bourne Mag­is­trates Court on Thurs­day.

Dressed in a grey shirt and with a shaven head, he ad­dressed the court when asked to en­ter a plea.

“Guilty your hon­our,” Todd said. A sum­mary of events shows Todd first spot­ted Dixon at the in­ter­sec­tion of Flin­ders Street and Swanston Street, cen­tral Mel­bourne, at 11.08pm on 12 June.

He fol­lowed her up Swanston Street, main­tain­ing a con­stant dis­tance be­hind.

“When­ever the de­ceased slowed down or stopped, the ac­cused made a sim­i­lar speed re­duc­tion,” the doc­u­ment read.

As Dixon crossed two soc­cer pitches and stepped on to a third, she was at­tacked.

Doc­u­ments re­leased by the court did not show the ex­act time of the at­tack.

Her body was found at 2.50am on 13 June by a passer-by walk­ing home from work.

Todd handed him­self in to po­lice later the same day and ini­tially de­nied any in­volve­ment with Dixon.

Dixon’s death sparked a na­tional out­pour­ing of grief with a sub­se­quent vigil at the park at­tract­ing more than 5,000 peo­ple.

Then-prime minin­ster Mal­colm Turn­bull and op­po­si­tion leader Bill Shorten stood shoul­der to shoul­der sur­rounded by col­leagues at a vigil held at Can­berra’s Par­lia­ment House.

Fed­eral La­bor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek choked back tears as she noted the “shock­ing” and “ter­ri­ble” death of Dixon, which shone a light on vi­o­lence against women.

Dixon had been walk­ing home from per­form­ing at a com­edy gig at Mel­bourne’s High­lander Club when at­tacked.

Todd is ex­pected to face the supreme court, where he will later be sen­tenced, on Tues­day.

Jaymes Todd has pleaded guilty to mur­der­ing Mel­bourne co­me­dian Eury­dice Dixon. Pho­to­graph: David Crosling/AAP

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