At 4:00pm on 26 June 2006, Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu was at the Livingston Shopping Centre in Canning Vale with her uncle, sister and brother. While her family waited in the main area of the shopping centre, Sofia went down a corridor to go to the toilet. Arthurs, an employee at the shopping centre, followed her, and after she left the female toilets, grabbed her from behind, dragged her into the nearby disabled toilet cubicle, and locked the door.
Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu’s family, having waited only a few moments, became concerned and her 14-year-old brother was sent to look for her. He called for her at the door of the female toilet but not getting a response walked back along the corridor. He heard movement coming from the disabled cubicle and knocked on the locked door calling Sofia’s name. There was no response. Sofia’s brother, uncle and younger sister then began a search of the centre. A few minutes later, her brother again returned to the disabled toilet cubicle and opened the now unlocked door. It was at this time, only 10 minutes after Sofia left her family that her brother found her naked body lying on the cubicle floor. A search of the shopping centre failed to locate an offender, and the entire centre was closed and declared a crime scene.
In his attempts to restrain Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu after she had been dragged into the toilet cubicle, her limbs were contorted so severely that both her legs were broken and her left arm was dislocated as Arthurs removed her clothing. Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu’s throat was also severely compressed and her larynx was crushed as Arthurs attempted to muffle her cries. The cause of death was given to be a direct result of strangulation.
On 17 November 2007 Arthurs pleaded guilty to the charges of murder and unlawful detention and was convicted in the Supreme Court of Western Australia; he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non parole period of 13 years.
Gillian “Jill” Meagher was an Irish woman living in Australia who was raped and murdered while walking home from a pub in Brunswick, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, in the early hours of 22 September 2012.
Adrian Ernest Bayley pleaded guilty to Meagher’s rape and murder in April 2013. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 35-year non-parole period. His bid to appeal his minimum term, in September 2013, was unsuccessful. In May 2015, Bayley was sentenced to another 18 years and his non-parole period was extended from 35 to 43 years for three other rape convictions.
The case is noteworthy for the high level of sympathy and grief that it generated both in Australia and Ireland and also for the legal consequences that it helped to generate.
On the afternoon of 9 November 2005 18 year old Lauren Huxley was attacked in her home in Northmead, Sydney, when she came home from TAFE. The house was on fire when she was found unconscious lying on the garage floor bound and gagged with horrific head injuries and covered in petrol. Lauren underwent extensive surgery and rehabilitation for the injuries sustained.
Robert Black Farmer who lived nearby but was not known to the Huxleys was charged with the crime.
In June 2008 in the NSW Supreme Court Farmer was found guilty of 3 counts – detaining his victim, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder her, and setting fire to the house thereby endangering the life of his victim. He was sentenced to a non-parole period of 20 years.