THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named.
THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named. News Corp Australia

The monster who kidnapped and terrorised foreign tourists

THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named.

Roman Heinze, 61, showed no emotion in the Supreme Court on Thursday as The Advertiser successfully applied for his identity to be revealed after more than a year of court-imposed suppression orders.

Those orders - some of the most draconian in state history - were no longer needed after prosecutors dropped charges that would have seen Heinze stand trial for a fourth time for alleged sexual offending later this year.
 

Roman Heinze poses with a gun in a photo from social media.
Roman Heinze poses with a gun in a photo from social media.

With those charges dropped, it now falls to Justice Trish Kelly to sentence Heinze for his crimes at Salt Creek, as well as the indecent assault of another backpacker in his Hackham home two years before the Coorong attack that horrified the nation.

She will also sentence him for breaching a good behaviour bond over yet another assault upon a woman - one that was dealt with on its own in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court.
 

Police evidence photo showing a blood-soaked towel that one of the backpackers used after she was struck in the head repeatedly.
Police evidence photo showing a blood-soaked towel that one of the backpackers used after she was struck in the head repeatedly. News Corp Australia

On Thursday, Justice Kelly was told that around that time, Heinze was subject to a bail agreement that specifically banned him from approaching women via the Gumtree website.

Heinze has been found guilty of crimes against three backpackers, each of whom he met through Gumtree.

Heinze has been convicted of a raft of offences including indecent assault, aggravated causing serious harm, and aggravated kidnapping.

The majority of those crimes were committed against backpackers from Brazil and Germany at Salt Creek in February 2016.

The man tied and sexually assaulted the Brazilian on the beach, and threatened her with a knife.

Police evidence photo of blood splatter on the 4WD’s roof and roofrack.
Police evidence photo of blood splatter on the 4WD’s roof and roofrack. News Corp Australia

When the German tried to intervene, the man struck her four times in the head with a hammer and then repeatedly rammed her with his vehicle.

Those two backpackers on Thursday gave harrowing victim impact statements - the German said "you could not break me" while the Brazilian said she remained in terror and had to see her scars every day.

It subsequently emerged the duo were the 14th and 15th backpackers, respectively, that Heinze had targeted via the Gumtree website's ride-sharing section.

One woman, whose nationality is unknown, was sexually assaulted by Heinze prior to their departure in September 2014.
 

Police evidence photo of one of the victims’ bikini bottom, with cut straps.
Police evidence photo of one of the victims’ bikini bottom, with cut straps. News Corp Australia

In the 2014 case, he had also agreed to drive the young woman interstate. On the day before they were due to leave, Heinze came up behind her and placed a hand over one of her breasts.

He then directed her to a bedroom where he pushed her down on to a bed but the woman fought him off.

Heinze confessed to that offending on the day his trial was due to begin.

THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named.
THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named. News Corp Australia

A second woman, from Japan, went with him to Salt Creek on an earlier occasion but he ended their trip early when she revealed she had posted photographs of him online.

Bill Boucaut SC, for Heinze, said his client did not accept the jury's verdicts in the Salt Creek case, and had filed an appeal to have them overturned.

He said that, as a result, he would not be addressing the court about the offending and would speak only about his client's history.

He said Heinze was born in West Germany and emigrated to Australia, along with his parents and two older brothers, in 1959.
 

THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named.
THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named. News Corp Australia

Heinze had lived here ever since, save for a brief period in the 1970s when he accompanied his parents back to Germany

"His eldest brother died in 2014, his father still lives and his mother died in 1990," he said.

"His father's health is not good, he has a heart condition … he worked as a musician, and my client gave up work to become a carer for his father in 2013."

Mr Boucaut said Heinze was a qualified chef and father of five, who had married and divorced twice prior to 2012.

He said his client's eldest children continued to visit him in prison while he "maintained contact" with the other three.

Police evidence photo of the German backpacker’s hat, found at the scene.
Police evidence photo of the German backpacker’s hat, found at the scene. News Corp Australia

Jim Pearce QC, prosecuting, said Heinze faced a maximum of 25 years' jail for some of his offences.

He said the Salt Creek crimes breached Heinze's existing good behaviour bond over the Christies Beach Magistrates Court assault case.

The Advertiser understands that offence also involved a foreign backpacker and had a sexual element.

Mr Pearce said there were "alarming similarities" between that offence - the date of which he did not disclose - and the crimes for which he is to be sentenced.

"That offending represents an escalation of the offending conduct he demonstrated (prior to those crimes)," he said.

"It also demonstrates a deviant and concerning interest in issues such as rape ... and a sexualised interest in young female travellers.

"It also demonstrates a complete disinclination to learn from his mistakes."

THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named.
THE man who terrorised and assaulted three backpackers, and pursued a dozen more on the internet in an escalating pattern of predatory behaviour, can finally be named. News Corp Australia

He urged the court to order Heinze serve cumulative sentences, not concurrent ones, for his crimes against each of the women at Salt Creek.

The only fitting penalty, he said, was a lengthy prison sentence.

"There's no question of any remorse or contrition being demonstrated here ... (sentencing) becomes a real issue about protection of the public," he said.

"It's said that some people are either mad, bad or sad, or some combination thereof - but here, there's no prospect for rehabilitation.

"What I'm driving at is eventually he'll be released - that's inevitable - but in the meantime the public will gain some protection by his incarceration."

Justice Kelly will sentence Heinze next week.

News Corp Australia

Help to share the dignity in Gatton

Help to share the dignity in Gatton

Vital program supports women in need.

Prenzlau Pride car show rolls into Lowood

Prenzlau Pride car show rolls into Lowood

Organisers say the event's new venue was a success.

Anzac Day services

Anzac Day services

Anzac Day services around the region

Local Partners