Man who raped sleeping woman has appeal dismissed

A MAN who was sentenced to a minimum 20-month jail term for raping a sleeping woman in Ballina has had an appeal to overturn his conviction dismissed.

Michael Jeffreys was in the midst of a break-up when he drove the woman from Byron Bay to his home in Ballina in February 2012.

He was 53 years old at the time - about 20 years older than the woman.

The woman's memory of their arrival was hazy after having drunk about two and a half bottles of wine, but she remembered going to bed fully-clothed.

She awoke at about 2am with the feeling that someone had recently had sex with her, and confronted Jeffreys when he returned from the shower.

He admitted they had engaged in sex but said it had been consensual - a claim he maintained when he was arrested at his house later that morning.

Jeffreys had already made an oral recording of his version of events on his mobile phone by the time police arrived.

The jury at his February 2014 trial faced a largely circumstantial case, relying on Jeffreys's mobile phone recording for his version of events because he did not give further evidence.

The woman could not give evidence about the rape because she had no memory of it happening, but she told the court she would never have consented to having sex with Jeffreys.

NSW Court of Appeals Justice David Davies rejected Jeffreys's claim the sex had been consensual and that the woman was conscious during the act.

He rejected the appeal and ordered Jeffreys to serve the remaining nine months and 24 days of his minimum prison sentence.

Jeffreys will be eligible for parole on March 27 next year.

-APN NEWSDESK



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