Man under community supervision after being charged with woman’s death


After committing identical assault charges two years prior, a man accused of numerous offenses involving the murder of a vulnerable woman was freed from prison to serve community supervision.

Emma Bates, 49, was found dead on Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. in her Cobram house in Victoria’s far north, near the NSW border. She had sustained injuries to her face and upper body.

With Ms. Bates’s passing, John Torney, 39, who resided next door, was charged on Wednesday night with common assault, aggravated assault of a female, recklessly causing injury, and unlawful assault.

It is anticipated, meanwhile, that no murder charge would be brought because forensics were not able to quickly determine the cause of her death or whether Torney’s claimed assault was the reason.

If a cause of death is found at all, it may take weeks for an autopsy to determine it. It has now come to light that Torney was serving a Community Supervisions Order on assault charges from 2022 that were committed in Robinvale, four hours northwest of Cobram.

Victoria from Corrections declined to comment.

Having grown up in Mildura as well, Torney had intended to make a “fresh start” by leaving the northwest Victorian district of Sunraysia. He moved to Cobram to live with his mother and two brothers in the home adjacent to Ms. Bates.

However, according to Ms. Bates’ family, Mildura’s problem became Cobram’s problem as a result of his transfer. “Emma described so many issues during this period,” Rachel, the sister of Ms. Bates, according to Daily Mail Australia.

“Regular fights, drug use, law enforcement, the house being broken into repeatedly, and the government coming in and fixing it.”

When John moved in, Emma actually got an anonymous letter alerting her to his past. She detested the man.

One of Torney’s brothers was contacted by Daily Mail Australia on Thursday, but he threw a can at the fence instead of responding. The family of Ms. Bates claimed they were at a loss as to why authorities were not filing any more serious charges.  

“We don’t comprehend,” Rachel remarked. “It appears the coroner might think her diabetes contributed to her demise.”In any case, I’m still baffled as to why this isn’t manslaughter. Whether or whether a pre-existing disease played a role, his (claimed) acts caused her to decline.

Victoria Police did not respond to requests for comment.

It had been “a few weeks” since Rachel and her sister had spoken, according to Rachel.

“But this wasn’t normal; the siblings who had made it through were hurried away, and an unidentified man was constantly in the background,” the sister claimed. During that period, we had exchanged texts and pictures. Her days were usually made brighter by a goofy cat photo.

Ms. Bates and Torney were known to one another, according to police, and there had been widespread rumors that they were dating.

However, Ms. Bates’ relatives disclosed that the 49-year-old ‘hated’ Torney and that they had only known each other for a few weeks, not months.

Emma knew exactly the kind of person John was. Rachel said, ‘She detested him. We’re not sure how he entered her life, for whatever reason.

Emma devoted her life to serving the underprivileged and misunderstood. Of all the people I know, she had the biggest heart. We had been communicating with John for weeks. Not years or months.

In honoring her sister, Rachel stated that despite facing health issues her entire life, she never allowed them stop her from giving back to the Cobram community.

She had type 1 diabetes, which led to numerous health issues and repeated hospital stays. “She moved around on her mobility scooter,” stated Rachel.

She had the largest heart of anyone we know, despite all of her health issues. She was always lending a hand to others.

Food is being dropped off for an elderly neighbor. extending a helping hand to those in need. The list is endless.

The Bates family had been in Melbourne to assist with her father’s medical care.

He found his daughter’s home in Cobram to be a crime scene when he got back. “At first, we believed she had experienced a medical incident,” stated Rachel.

“Our world was shattered when the police told us she was (allegedly) assaulted and left to die.” The life of a lovely, kind woman has suddenly ended. Nothing is comprehensible.

To preserve the privacy of her parents, Rachel chose not to reveal her last name, but she affectionately referred to her sister as the “crazy cat lady aunt.” She cared for her rescues as if they were her own children. “Everything in her house was inspired by cats,” she remarked.

Emma was a proud aunt to her 17 nieces and nephews despite not having been blessed with children.

She would enthrall everyone with her tales for hours, as they were her pride and delight. In order to always have them with her, she got many tattoos of their faces on her legs.

Tragically, her kindness has brought her friendship with a man who (said to) have malicious intentions for her. That is not fair to anyone.

Australia has already seen the deaths of twenty-five women this year as a result of the widespread violence against women and girls there. On Thursday night, Torney had an out-of-session court appearance.

On Friday, he is scheduled to appear in Shepparton Magistrates’ Court.

As part of the inquiry, a group of detectives and forensic investigators were observed on Wednesday talking to neighbors and searching Ms. Bates’ house for evidence.

A wheelchair, an exercise bike, and a cat scratching post tower were found abandoned in Ms. Bates’ covert parking lot while cops followed them in and out of the front door.

Ms. Bates’s friend Kylie Mizzi, whose parents had long lived next door, described her as a “beautiful soul” to Daily Mail Australia.

She remarked, “She had a big heart, was warm and loving, and always helped my elderly parents.”

“I can’t believe such a wonderful soul could experience something like this.”