Brisbane Supreme and District courts.
Brisbane Supreme and District courts. Rae Wilson

Man who tortured and raped woman loses appeal

AN online dater who raped and tortured a former Mackay woman while he kept her hostage at her home for three days has lost his appeal.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim, hit the 22-year-old woman and called her names before throwing bleach at her.

The woman, whose family still live in Mackay, testified at a trial in November that the man - about 10 years older than her - then sprayed disinfectant on her bleach burns.

She testified that the man raped her three times but the jury convicted him of two counts.

The woman, who was living in Brisbane and working at a festival, had met the man on dating website RSVP in June, 2011, and had been seeing him for three months.

The man pleaded guilty to 12 offences - including various assaults, torture, intending to maim by throwing corrosive fluid and holding her hostage - at the start of the trial but denied the rape offences.

He argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal that the rape verdicts were inconsistent and unreasonable, and that the justice erred in directions to the jury.

Justice Robert Gotterson, in an appeal judgment handed down on Tuesday, said it was not unreasonable for the jury to have convicted on two rapes and not the third.

He said there was a difference in the quality of the evidence on one count, which came from a prompt from the trial judge, which provided "a sound platform for a difference in verdicts".

"I am persuaded that the prosecution did establish the appellant's guilty (on the two rape convictions) beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

The man had become resentful about the time the woman gave to her work and was accusing her of cheating in the lead-up to the offences.

He became controlling, moody and would check her emails and phone calls.

The man will be sentenced at a date to be fixed. - APN NEWSDESK



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