A keen churchgoer with "a dated and unfounded attitude" towards marriage has been jailed after violently raping his wife and breaking her ribs.
Justice Michael Elkaim on Friday sentenced the man, who cannot be named, to four years, one month and 26 days in prison.
The judge also ordered that the offender, who is in his 40s, serve a non-parole period of two years and nine months.
Justice Elkaim's judgment shows the victim had had an affair and was living away from the family home when one of her children told her in October 2019 that there was no food in the house.
The woman went to the home, in suburban Tuggeranong, to sort this out the next morning and woke her husband to discuss the situation.
Her husband, who was drunk, attacked her when she later tried to leave for work, punching her in the face and to the side of her body.
"The latter strike caused a sound like a crack," Justice Elkaim said, noting that subsequent scans revealed two broken ribs.
Months later, in February 2020, the woman went to the family home again.
This time, her husband slapped her face and raped her.
The victim subsequently told police she had tried in vain to push him away.
"I'm weak. I cannot fight him," she said.
The offender pleaded guilty in March this year to charges of engaging in sexual intercourse without consent, causing grievous bodily harm, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In sentencing, Justice Elkaim found the rapist had resented the victim's affair and "his asserted forgiveness was far from genuine".
He said the man also "harboured a dated and unfounded attitude that said a wife should succumb to the sexual desires of a husband at his whim".
"There was a time when a husband could not be prosecuted for raping his wife," the judge said.
"But that time is long past, the law having changed in the ACT in 1985.
"Marriage, be it formal or de facto, is an equal partnership in which the participants have equal rights and obligations."
Justice Elkaim went on to say the attacks must be viewed as acts of domestic violence, notwithstanding that the perpetrator and the victim had effectively separated when they occurred.
"Family violence and rape within the family are extremely serious," he said.
The judge said the man did not seem to feel much remorse or "think that he caused much harm to his wife" and their family.
"He is wrong," Justice Elkaim said.
"As far as rehabilitation is concerned, I do not hold out much hope for the offender as long as he continues to minimise his culpability."
The judge said, however, that the man was a keen churchgoer and that he hoped "his continued devotion to the Bible will enable him to live a more productive life in the future".
With time already served, the offender will become eligible for parole in November 2022.
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