Madeleine Weinnam was stalked by a man in a car in Kewarra Beach PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Madeleine Weinnam was stalked by a man in a car in Kewarra Beach PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Young mum’s terrifying encounter near Toyah murder

WHEN Madeleine Weinmann went for a walk through ­Kewarra Beach, she never could have imagined it would end with her running for her life.

The 28-year-old mum told the Cairns Post she took a slightly longer walk than usual because her son wasn't with her on Sunday.

She said she was on Panguna St when a dark grey SUV started driving up and down the street near her before the erratic behaviour ramped up.

"On the fourth time he's come back towards me and ­actually swerved at me. I was on the grass and it was only half a metre between me and the car," she said.

"He was driving so fast that, if he had managed to hit me, I don't think I'd be here today."

She said the driver, who she described as petite and of ­Indian appearance, stopped the car and flashed the headlights at her.

"I had alarm bells ringing," she said.

"I walked past him quite briskly and he's gotten out of the car. As I've walked past he approached me.

"Once he was in my space, he asked me my name and he's put his arm out to shake my hand.

"Stupidly enough, I've shaken his hand and he's grabbed me with force.

"It was tight enough that I felt I had to pull away, it wasn't right.

"I was really lucky that I had some essential oils and body butter on me at the time, so it was really slippery in the rain."

Ms Weinmann said he yelled after her for some time, asking if she lived nearby or if she regularly jogged in the area.

"He zoomed past me again, then leant out of his passenger window with his phone out saying he needed help," she said.

"He looked crazy. His eyes were really glassy. He had this smile on his face that was really eerie.

"That's when I ran."

Ms Weinmann said she would reconsider taking an afternoon walk after the incident. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Ms Weinmann said she would reconsider taking an afternoon walk after the incident. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

Ms Weinmann said she was filled with adrenaline, but ­afterwards took stock of how things could have gotten much worse.

"My family knows Toyah (Cordingley). I've got a lot of friends who do know her personally," she said.

"I'm wondering why the northern beaches are being targeted.

"Toyah's incident was at Wangetti and a young girl was (also) targeted just nearby at Kewarra Beach."

Ms Weinmann said she was rethinking her decision to live in the northern beaches.

"I've lived in Cairns for nearly 22 years. We've always classed Cairns as a safe city, but with recent events I don't feel too safe," she said.

"I don't want to put fear into the community, but awareness. I love Kewarra Beach. I want to live here.

"But I'm starting to feel that maybe my family doesn't want to be here. After having a child ... you really consider your life a lot more than before."

Ms Weinnam said she hoped other people were cautious out and about. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Ms Weinnam said she hoped other people were cautious out and about. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

A police spokesman said it was best to use gut instincts when being asked for help by strangers.

"If strangers approach you, use your feelings of safety as a guide. Remove yourself from the situation if you feel unsafe. It is better to be rude than ­unsafe," he said.

Ms Weinmann is the second young woman in just two weeks to be part of an attempted abduction at Kewarra Beach.

A 19-year-old woman was approached by a man in an SUV on January 23 but managed to break free.

Ms Weinmann's incident has been reported to police.