11-Year-Old Australian Girl Takes Her Own Life After Alleged Abuser Granted Bail

The mother of an 11-year-old Australian girl who took her own life said her daughter had been overcome with fear after her alleged abuser was granted bail.

The child, who cannot be named, died in Perth Children's Hospital, Western Australia (WA), on Tuesday after being flown in from a regional town.

More than 100 family members and loved ones had gathered at the hospital, some of whom were sleeping in their cars, to be by her side.

Her death came just weeks after an elderly man accused of sexually abusing her was granted police bail on the same day as he was arrested. The bail was later renewed in court.

The man is set to return to court later this year where he is set to face more than a dozen charges, including indecent dealing and sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13. Court records indicate he's yet to enter a plea, local media reported.

Speaking to online news site WAtoday, the girl's mother said her daughter had been terrified after learning that her suspected attacker was granted bail.

"My daughter thought that he was going to hurt her and she was frightened. She didn't want to live in that town, she didn't want to be there," she said.

"She was scared, I was scared, I wouldn't even let my babies go outside and play without me standing outside."

The girl's mother went on to press for urgent amendments to Western Australia's bail laws, echoing separate calls made by the National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP) in the wake of the 11-year-old's death.

"My daughter was scared of [an alleged] predator and she's no longer here with me so I've got to speak for her," she said.

"We need tougher bail laws ... [and] I believe rural places need more services for young people."

NSPTRP director Gerry Georgatos also made the case for reform of Western Australia's bail laws, saying they needed to be tightened to prevent repeat child sex offenders from being granted release.

"No one should be bailed as a multiple offender, a repeat offender, because they are a higher risk," he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency.

"That seared fear into the heart of the family and into the heart of the child, according to the family, and may have led to this child's self-harm."

Local authorities, for their part, have acknowledged the man accused of sexually abusing the 11-year-old should not have been granted bail.

"For someone so young to take their life is unacceptable and tragic and many questions need to be answered," Regional Assistant Police Commissioner Jo McCabe told reporters on Wednesday.

"An early assessment of this case tells me that police bail should have been opposed and not considered in this instance," she added.

"This will ultimately be a matter for the coroner, but I'm here today to say that WA Police will take ownership of any issues where we can improve to prevent something like this from occurring again."

The state's health minister, Roger Cook, said he expected an official government probe into the circumstances of the girl's death, including the decision to grant her alleged abuser bail.

"When a small girl who clearly feels vulnerable and hopeless ... takes her life, it strikes at the heart of all our sense of humanity," AAP quoted him as saying.

"My understanding is there was an element of counselling and some supports that were available – we need to look at if that was appropriate. I'm sure the justice system will look at the way that the bail and other court arrangements were handled, as well."

But critics said it was clear there had been multiple failures in the girl's case.

"She was failed by a number of organizations and a number of departments," NSPTRP director Megan Krakouer told AAP.

Krakouer, who had been with the girl's family in the Perth hospital, added the orderal had left the child's mother and other relatives shattered.

"Their lives are ruined and they are forever heartbroken," she said.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255.

The line is available 24 hours, every day.