A young stabbing victim has told of her ongoing trauma as her assailant faced court.
A young stabbing victim has told of her ongoing trauma as her assailant faced court.

‘Thought I would die’: Woman’s terror over roadside stabbing

A YOUNG Chilean backpacker brutally stabbed outside her Cairns hostel by a cleaner has told of her ongoing trauma over the terrifying daylight incident.

Constanza "Kuki" Escudero, 26, was just days into a dream Australian holiday when she was repeatedly punched in the face, chased and stabbed with a knife by Mornington Island man Raynard Gregory Moodoonuthi, 37.

The "extraordinary" attack came after he made an unwanted advance to her in the kitchen of Gecko's Backpackers on Bunda St in August last year.

Chilean filmmaker Constanza (Kuki) Escudero, 26, was allegedly stabbed in a Cairns backpackers hostel.
Chilean filmmaker Constanza (Kuki) Escudero, 26, was allegedly stabbed in a Cairns backpackers hostel.


Moodoonuthi was the subject of a retrial in the Cairns Supreme Court this week and had been fighting a charge of attempted murder, before the Crown accepted his guilty plea to the lesser charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

He was handed an eight-year jail sentence and ordered to serve 80 per cent before being eligible for parole.

In a victim impact statement read to the court Ms Escudero, who returned to Chile several days after the attack, said she faced ongoing trauma, flashbacks, nightmares and fear of men.

"(It was) the most scary day of my whole life," she said.

Chilean filmmaker Constanza (Kuki) Escudero, 26, was allegedly stabbed in a Cairns backpackers hostel.
Chilean filmmaker Constanza (Kuki) Escudero, 26, was allegedly stabbed in a Cairns backpackers hostel.

"I never thought I was going to run for my life. I truly thought I was going to die that day."

Ms Escudero had been millimetres from death with the knife penetrating her neck, breaking bones and leaving her with ongoing pain.

The court heard Moodoonuthi had a 15-year criminal history littered with violence, including multiple attacks on women.

"He seems to have no difficulty in being prepared to hit women," Justice Jim Henry said.

"She's screaming for her life, terrified.

"It is difficult to understate the catastrophic impact of your offending.

"(A hostel) should be a safe haven for tourists in our beautiful part of the world."

He said Moodoonuthi was a "violent, dangerous and angry man" who needed to address his anger management issues.

"It not just a serious problem for you, it's a problem with cause for community protection," he said.

Defence barrister Tim Grau said his client had played witness to significant violence during his upbringing on Mornington Island.

Originally published as 'Thought I would die': Woman's terror over roadside stabbing


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