Man attacked and raped woman near Sarina ambulance station
A VIOLENT abuser with a history of assaulting women and children could be released from jail in a year and eight months after he raped his partner next to a Mackay region ambulance station.
The 50-year-old Cairns man, who we're legally prevented from naming to protect his victim, has a horrendous criminal record dating back to 1994, a court was told.
It includes torturing a woman over several days, hurling a chair at an eight-year-old boy and kicking a woman in the head while she was breastfeeding.
His latest crime saw him punch his then-partner repeatedly in the head while walking from a Sarina pub in the early hours of November 12 last year, before dragging her between two buildings and forcing sexual intercourse.
The 45-year-old woman's pants had fallen in the struggle, the man ripped off her shirt and pressed his hand over his victim's mouth as she screamed for help.
He punched her in the head again once he had finished.
Staff at the ambulance station heard part of the attack and left the building to see what was happening.
Police were called after the man was found standing over his victim, amidst a pool of blood, as she lay passed out on the ground.
Taken to hospital, the woman was treated for bruising to her face and body and a laceration to her face.
The man bolted, but was later arrested, charged and locked up for 354 days, until his sentencing in Mackay District Court on Wednesday.
He showed little visible emotion while in the criminal dock in custody, staring straight ahead as the details of his crime were aired by Crown prosecutor Alex Baker.
The man pleaded guilty to rape, assault occasioning bodily harm and deprivation of liberty, represented by defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, who was instructed by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS).
Ms Baker said the man and his victim, who'd been together three years and were visiting Sarina, had been walking back to where they were staying after drinking at the pub.
They were both drunk, after consuming a five litre wine cask before going out, and beer throughout the night.
The woman sat down near the ambulance station on the corner of Lee and Brandon Streets to rest and the man abused her for stopping, before the rape took place.
"Clearly, this would have been, by anyone's standards, a terrifying experience," Ms Baker said.
While rape can muster a sentence of life imprisonment, Ms Baker told the court precedent cases indicated imprisonment for seven to nine years was appropriate.
But the man would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence due to an early guilty plea, as is customary.
Ms Hartigan described her client as a labourer from a large family who had issues with substance abuse - namely alcohol and marijuana.
She conceded the rape was violent and the man's abuse relatively protracted, but noted there was "no anal or oral penetration".
"I can't get away from his extensive and relevant history," she acknowledged.
Ms Hartigan added the man had shown remorse through his early plea and cooperated with police investigations.
The barrister added the man intended to attend Alcoholics Anonymous on release and would undertake alcohol and drug counselling.
Ms Hartigan submitted seven years jail,with the eligibility for parole at the one-third mark was an adequate sentence, considering precedent cases.
Judge Deborah Richards summed up the man's "protracted" crimes and noted his "significant history".
But she took into account an early plea, that the victim's injuries were relatively minor and that the rape was opportunistic, as opposed to planned.
She considered the man's alcohol abuse was "clearly a problem", but told him it was "good you have insight" into his issues.
Ultimately, Judge Richards sentenced the man to a head sentence of eight years in jail.
Considering time served, he'll be eligible for parole on July 12, 2019.
- DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811
- DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636
- 1800RESPECT national hotline: 1800 656 463