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Alleged rapist a 'gross and ever-present risk' to society, court told

Date

Louis Andrews

A man who broke into a former partner's flat and raped her at knifepoint while her children were at home has been deemed ''a gross and ever-present risk'' to society.

And the barrister representing the 29-year-old has conceded his client is facing a lengthy prison sentence, with a possible non-parole period ''into double digits''. The defendant, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to 11 charges stemming from an ordeal the prosecutor described as ''prolonged sexual violence and humiliation''.

They include an aggravated burglary, committing an act of indecency, unlawful confinement and seven counts of having sexual intercourse without consent.

He has also pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the third degree, threatening harm in order to have sex with a person.

The man appeared in the ACT Supreme Court yesterday for sentencing submissions before acting Justice John Nield.

The charges all arise from a single evening in July last year when the man broke into the woman's flat with a knife while she was in bed and her children were at home.

''The accused subjected the victim to prolonged sexual violence and humiliation,'' prosecutor Sarah McMurray said.

Ms McMurray said the man knew his victim and her children were at home when he decided to break into the apartment.

And the prosecutor said the man's subsequent comments in pre-sentence interviews indicated he enjoyed instilling fear in the victim at the time of the crimes. The defendant later told the author of a pre-sentence report the crimes were a reaction to the collapse of their relationship.

But he also spoke about the ''destabilising'' impact of substance abuse, gambling and the viewing of pornography on his behaviour.

Police found a number of pornographic images on his phone, the report noted.

''It would be reasonable to suggest these images were at the far end of the scale in depicting humiliation, aggression, power and control over the victim,'' it stated.

The pre-sentence report said: ''In the absence of convincing evidence as to the efficacy of further therapeutic intervention to reduce risk, this service must consider [he] will continue to present a gross and ever-present risk upon any release to the community.'' The man's barrister, James Lawton, said his client made full admissions to police when con- fronted with his crimes.

He also noted the man pleaded guilty at an early stage and was ''contrite and remorseful''.

Mr Lawton said it was possible the non-parole period ''may reach into double digits''.

Acting Justice Nield will hand down a sentence next month.

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