Impu to spend at least 14 years in prison


p2159-Bruce-ImpuBy ERWIN CHLANDA
Bruce Impu (pictured), who pleaded guilty to eight counts of rape at gunpoint of two European tourists in Alice Springs in 2012, was today sentenced to 15 years with 12 year non-parole period.
It will start at the end of a sentence he is currently serving, which has two years to run.
This means Impu will be behind bars for at least 14 years from now, for a crime which Justice Jenny Blockland described as a “particularly brutal offence of a demeaning kind” as well as “callous and painful lengthy assaults”.
Impu’s two co-defendants were previously sentenced to 15 years with a nine year non-parole period. Justice Blockland said the longer non-parole period was in recognition of Impu being the principal offender, the gravity of his offending, and his long criminal record.
He is now 20 years old.
The judge said he will need to be monitored after release “for some considerable time”.
The public gallery was packed with relatives and friends of Impu, police officers and media.
Before the judge entered the court Impu’s mother, holding a baby, approached Impu who was siting in the dock.
She spoke to him in language. Impu smiled at the baby. Justice Blockland, in her reasons for judgment, mentioned that Impu was a father but the child was born while he was in prison.
A Corrective Services officer told Impu’s mother to stop talking to him.
She then sat in the gallery in the seat nearest to her son. However, as Justice Blockland read out in graphic detail the sustained sexual acts performed by “three cowardly and aggressive men attacking and humiliating two women,” Impu’s mother walked out of the courtroom.
As the judge described the multitude of sexual assaults on the two women, who had been sleeping in their car in a well-lit residential street near the casino, Impu sat motionless in his chair, not displaying any emotions.
Justice Blockland said Impu told the women they could not again stay in place of the crime because it was a sacred place.
He also told the women not to go to the police: His family was in Alice Springs and “we know your face”.
The crime was in the high range of seriousness, was performed in company, had two victims who were particularly vulnerable, the three men were brutal in their demands and threatened the victims with a firearm, said Justice Blockland.
The two women feared they would be killed or seriously injured.
She said the events had a devastating effect, took a terrible emotional toll.
p2215-Impu's-mother-1The victims are finding it difficult to form personal relationships, have great difficulties at work and study, each one feeling guilty what happened to the other.
They are suffering great tiredness and depression.
Justice Blockland said Impu was raised mostly by his grandfather. He died when Impu was 13. He went back to his mother who drank heavily and provided no real parenting. He was deprived of childhood nurture that every child deserves, said Justice Blockland. Alcohol, drugs and offending had an ongoing effect on Impu’s life.
She said his guilty plea was taken into account when the sentence was reduced (she said the maximum penalty is life).
The remorse expressed by him to his defence counsel “is likely to have been belatedly expressed”.
PHOTO: Impu’s mother attacking a photographer outside the court this morning.


  1. Bruce Impu, despite what he has done, needs be recognised as just another victim of the Commonwealth’s apartheid approach to policy.

  2. Should have been sentenced to life, God knows those poor women have to live with it for the rest of their lives! Who cares if he is a father or had a rough upbringing, so many offenders pull that poor bugger me card! I had a rough childhood but I’m still a law abiding citizen!

  3. Blockland obviously is a blockhead … and Paul Parker is a racist bigot whose comment ought not have been published.

  4. Paul Parker … thanks for removing the thin veil that usually shrouds the deep sexism underlying much of what passes for progressive analysis of these issues in Central Australia.

  5. Get lost, Paul Parker. This is hardly the Commonwealth’s fault. How can you blame something like this on a 200 year old issue, whose culture as a result of that now receives the highest government benefits?
    This is a simple plain case of animalistic rape. These blokes knew the difference between right and wrong. They just chose to ignore that fact.

  6. @ Paul. Impu is the victim is he Paul? Spare me. He is an animal. There is no “despite what he has done” about it.

  7. Hey Paul, why don’t you go in the cell with IMPU (aka Animal, Oxygen Thief, Rapist) and spend those years in the big house with him. Maybe you could get to know him better.

  8. I am yet again Surprised!
    For goodness sake, when will people start taking responsibility for their own actions?
    The scary bit is that there are people out there who have the audacity to blame their past for their behaviour, but more scary are the people who have empathy for these people.

  9. Aboriginal people want to keep their culture, respect their ancestors and their law.
    If the legal system wants Aboriginal people to respect the law, the legal system has to start respecting Aboriginal law.
    The criminal justice system, the criminal code, the Bail Act, and all relevant pieces of legislation need to be amended to properly reflect Aboriginal law as it exists in the Territory for so many traditional Aboriginal people.
    Aboriginal tribal law is often seen as harsh and brutal, but it ensured order and discipline.
    The Elders should punish those men!

  10. Paul Parker is not a racist nor a bigot.
    To the contrary he is the unacknowledged white man who led the Pintupi people from Papunya to establish their own community at Kintore in 1981.
    He started the first store there in 1982, the entire community depended on him.
    Without him Kintore would not exist today.
    Later, he suffered terrible injuries there when a # 7 boomerang was used against him, but he went through rehab, relearned how to talk and walk and continued to live with and assist the Pintupi in his own way.
    Paul’s thesis is that separation of the races is a negative and causes all sorts of societal ills.
    Whether readers agree with him or not it’s a point of view from someone who spent his life with Aboriginal people.

  11. Not in anyway excusing the actions of the offenders, or in anyway “blaming the victems”; both the Alice Springs Town Council, and the NT Police have some responsibility for this crime.
    Council has long had bylaws that prevent camping in public places in the municipality, and have never enforced them (as Darwin does to a degree) except to move mostly homeless folk out of the river at 5am, before too many people are affronted by their presence.
    It is my understanding that every police officer has the powers to enforce council bylaws. And yet most nights, more so in the tourist season, you can find campervans, caravans and station wagons parked up all around town, and in some locations in the rural areas, and no-one ever says anything.
    This laxness is well shared on social media used by these folk, as is now the crime that was in part facilitated by it. Shame on both council and police!

  12. In his submission John McBride set out Bruce Impu’s 15-page criminal history. His schooling was intermittent, without attainment or accomplishment, he turned to alcohol, drugs and “a street crime culture”.
    The legal system fails those convicted when they leave prisons without higher education levels.
    More “street crime culture” fellowship is not enough to reduce re-offending.
    What efforts are made to educate them, to re-direct them away from repeat offending.
    Surviving inside is not enough. Clearly NOT enough is being done to educate them to become better citizens.
    Needed is a full public inquiry, into what happens in the prison system, and what needs to be happening.

  13. Poor bugger me coming into it again. Oh, he had a terrible childhood, his mother drank heavily.
    What is this, there are thousands of kids / adults out there who had a rough childhood but do they gang rape women?
    They should never be released. Bloody cowards.


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