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NSW: Dead teen's mum wants students warned of Sydney danger

06 Nov 2008 4:12 PM
By Andrew Drummond

SYDNEY, Nov 6 AAP - Wu Liping thought her teenage daughter was safe living in Sydney, a city the Chinese student had praised for its friendly people.

But 11 days ago the 18-year-old aspiring accountant fell to her death from the balcony of her Waterloo apartment as she tried to escape an armed intruder who allegedly sexually assaulted her after forcing his way into her home.

Ms Wu now wants all international students staying in Sydney to be made aware of the potential dangers they face in the harbour city.

Her daughter, along with the teenager's 19-year-old South Korean boyfriend,fell from the third-floor balcony of their unit on October 26.

The pair were found naked on the concrete 20m below their apartment.

The young woman died at the scene and her boyfriend suffered serious spinalinjuries.

The couple were among four Asian students in the apartment who were allegedly sexually assaulted for up to an hour at the hands of a knife-wielding predator.

"Through this unfortunate case that happened to my daughter, I hope that every school here will raise their concerns about the student safety issues and make more effort to promote the safety awareness around schools and try to teach the students to become more conscious about their own safety," Ms Wu told media today through an interpreter.

Ms Wu, who lost her home and business in the Sichuan earthquake earlier this year, wiped away tears when asked how she was coping with the loss of heronly child.

"It's been so hard for me and I can't bear the thought of my future at thismoment," she said.

Ms Wu and her husband, Fa Heng He, a senior Chinese police officer, arrivedin Sydney last week.

The husband has served with the Chinese police for 29 years and said that in that time he has never seen anything so atrocious as the circumstances surrounding his stepdaughter's death.

"Honestly, over my past three decades in my police career I've never come across such (an) atrocious crime," he said.

Brendan David Dennison, 26, of no fixed address, has been charged with rapeand murder in relation to the incident.

This week, police said three triple-0 calls were made from a mobile phone in the apartment half an hour before the fatal fall, but officers could not pinpoint exactly where the call originated.

Ms Wu thanked Sydney police for arresting a suspect so soon after the incident but said she is "still thinking about" whether they could have done more to have saved her daughter's life.

She had not visited her daughter in Sydney but Ms Wu said that during regular phone calls the teenager said she was enjoying life.

"She often rang me to tell me: `Mum, this a great country ... it's got fresh air, quite safe, the people are friendly, you should come here to visit and hopefully you can also migrate to this great country'," she said.

A public funeral service will be held at 10am (AEDT) on Saturday at Sydney Olympic Park, followed by a 2pm (AEDT) cremation at North Ryde.

Ms Wu plans to return to China with her daughter's ashes.

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