A reported one in six women in Australia have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or previous partner, according to the family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia 2018 Federal Government report.
Unfortunately, this was the topic of a recent case brought before the District Court of NSW. Did the court decide to grant the perpetrator’s leave of appeal?
What were the original charges against the applicant?
The applicant originally stood trial with four counts of aggravated sexual against his then-wife (also the complainant of the case), between 1 March 1992 and 30 April 2003. The counts included multiple instances of rape and forced sexual acts. At trial on 26 September 2011, the applicant was found not guilty on the aggravated accounts, but guilty for those relating to bodily harm (bruising and internal injuries causing bleeding).
He was sentenced to a total of seven years and six months imprisonment.
What did the applicant appeal?
The applicant appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal on the grounds that the trial judge failed to inform the jury of his significant forensic disadvantage which was caused by a delay in gathering information. On 31 October 2013, the appeal was dismissed.
On 12 February 2019, the applicant sought another appeal, asking that his ‘fresh’ evidence be heard before the Court of Criminal Appeal. This included the claim his ex-wife had a medical history of bleeding prior to the sexual assault.
But what did the judge decide?
Reviewing the evidence
During the trial, the court heard evidence from the complainant which detailed the extensive and horrifying sexual abuse she had to endure. She claimed that the consistent abuse left her with internal bleeding. The applicant, however, claimed all sexual acts were consensual.
The court also relied on evidence obtained from a police officer and the applicant’s psychiatrist. On both occasions, the applicant admitted raping his then-wife, and he asked the police officer how he could legally stop someone from making claims against him.
After reviewing all evidence, the court found no change to the applicant’s original charges, and that he showed no remorse for his actions. His application was once again dismissed.
If you’re a victim of sexual assault, it’s never too late to come forward. Get in touch with the expert and empathetic lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners today to see how we can help you seek justice for your trauma.