Man jailed for raping estranged wife

INTOXICATED and tired after having friends and family over for a pre-Christmas party, the woman went to bed.

She awoke in pain to find her estranged husband raping her.

Those were the scenes described in Maryborough Magistrates Court as a man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for raping his estranged wife three years ago.

The woman held a party at her Maryborough home two days before Christmas and invited her former partner, who she separated from two years previously.

The court heard alcohol was consumed at the party and the man, 43, and his former partner were both intoxicated.

During the course of the evening, the man sent a text to his estranged wife, asking her to have sex with him.

She told him she wasn't interested.

About midnight the woman decided to go to bed.

Her daughter went in to check on her to make sure she was okay and saw her mother asleep on her stomach in underwear and a singlet.

When her daughter left the room to go back to the party, the man rose from his seat and said he was going to go check on her as well.

The court heard the victim awoke with pain to find the defendant on top of her.

The woman told him to stop and he did, immediately leaving the room.

She reported the incident to the police the next day.

Crown prosecutor Susan Hedge said testing had proven that semen found on the victim's underwear belonged to the defendant.

The court heard the woman had struggled with mental health issues since she had been abused as a child and her husband had been aware of the abuse his former wife had been subjected to.

Ms Hedge said that added a "level of callousness" to the man's actions, as well as the fact that she had been unconscious or asleep when he started his assault.

Defence barrister Paul Rutledge said his client had epilepsy and a heart condition, which would negatively impact on his time in prison.

He said his client had depression and an adjustment disorder, which had several characteristics including impulsivity, which may have played a role in the rape.

Judge Michael Noud sentenced the man to five-and-a-half years in prison with a parole release date of October 10, 2017.

Topics:  maryborough court

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