Date rape victim faces ‘battle to leave house’

AN Ipswich man is set to face sentence on Thursday after a jury found him guilty of raping a woman he had been meeting periodically for consensual sex.

Ipswich District Court heard the pair had been meeting up for sex on-and-off for five years until the night of the offences.

The trial heard the rapes and assaults occurred on one evening nearly three years ago when the man was then aged 36.

Prosecutor Cameron Wilkins said the Crown sought a jail term of between seven and 10 years, saying the offences were of a degrading nature.

"It is made even more serious given the violence and the number of rapes committed," Mr Wilkins said.

The man was found guilty of five counts of rape, sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm.

With the victim in the courtroom, Mr Wilkins read out her victim impact statement, which outlined how she had faced "a battle to leave the house".

"Thirty-two months on and I am still learning to cope. Had to recount my story in a courtroom full of strangers. (It was) emotionally devastating," the victim's statement read.

"I will never receive an apology."

Mr Wilkins said the rapes included oral and anal penetration.

He said the woman was struck in her ribs, causing injuries, and the man stopped her leaving when they were in his car.

Defence barrister Ed Whitton said the relationship between his client and the victim was of an extreme sexual nature that had previously included consensual acts of aggression.

Mr Whitton maintained an extreme act was entered into, before consent was withdrawn, but the Judge disagreed.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said he did not understand the defence submission.

"None of these acts he was convicted of were acts where consent was given at the time and later withdrawn," he said.

Mr Whitton said Judge Horneman-Wren had to make a finding on whether the punches delivered by the man were done in order to overcome her resistance, "or delivered in context of a sexual liaison they were involved in".

"It has been particularly traumatic for him. He has been on bail a lengthy time and been in a depressed state," Mr Whitton said.

"He isolated himself and says there has been an uptake in alcohol."

He referred to personal references about the man put before the court, saying he was of otherwise impeccable character and the offending "should be treated as being a one-off, absolutely out of character for him"

Judge Horneman-Wren said he needed time to consider all matters.

The man was remanded in custody and the sentence adjourned until Thursday, September 17.