Elderly woman bashed unconscious for nine hours

The Sydney Morning Herald

Janruary 28, 2017

A Sydney teenager has faced court accused of bashing his elderly neighbour so severely she lay bloodied and unconscious in her bed for nine hours.

Anita Christanga suffered five broken ribs, severe cuts to her head and a broken nose and jaw during the attack at her home in Toongabbie early on Wednesday morning.

Staff at a local bank raised the alarm several hours later when the 78-year-old arrived and tried to cancel her ATM card.

Brendan Lee Burton, 18, was charged over the attack and appeared in Blacktown Local Court via video-link on Friday.


He blew kisses to two family members during the brief appearance but didn't apply for bail.

Police allege Ms Christanga's injuries were so severe they "can't fully be comprehended because of the extreme level of brutality".


They say she was woken by a noise, "violently assaulted" about 1am, and didn't regain consciousness until 10am.

In "severe pain", she washed her face and staggered downstairs to discover her mobile phone and card missing from her handbag, court documents state.

Anita Christanga is treated by paramedics after being bashed at her Toongabbie home.
Anita Christanga is treated by paramedics after being bashed at her Toongabbie home. Photo: Seven News

Concerned someone would use her card, Ms Christanga drove to a nearby Commonwealth Bank, where shocked staff immediately called an ambulance.

Police officers found blood splattered across her bedroom walls and pooled on the floor.

She remains in a serious but stable condition in Westmead Hospital.

Mr Burton, who lives with his grandmother and fiancee, allegedly told officers he was asleep at the time.

He also said Ms Christanga was known to kids as the "wicked witch" because she never spoke to anyone and her house was always locked and dark.

Police arrested the 18-year-old on Thursday and charged him with wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and committing a serious indictable offence.

Speaking outside court on Friday, Mr Burton's relatives denied he was responsible for the attack and said they had known the elderly woman for more than 30 years.

"He didn't do this, because he's innocent," Mr Burton's mother told journalists outside the court. "My son is innocent, okay?"

Mr Burton will appear at Penrith Local Court on February 3