Rape of ex-wife nets three years

A man who pleaded guilty to raping his ex-wife received a sentence of three years imprisonment.

Justice Alexander Henderson said the facts of the case placed the offence in the ‘low to moderate’ sentencing range, but the man’s previous convictions for violence were an aggravating factor. He considered five years to be the appropriate sentence, then subtracted two years for the guilty plea.

Earlier the judge noted that the maximum sentence for rape is life imprisonment and there is no minimum. The spectrum of sentences was very large, he said.

Crown Counsel Nicola Moore presented the summary of facts.

She said the couple had been divorced for some time. The man had since remarried, spent periods in custody and suffered health problems. After a hospital stay, he asked if he and the ex-wife could resume contact for the sake of their children.

She agreed, but indicated she had no interest in a relationship other than friendship. The family went to church together and he went to the house for lunch.

He wanted to resume a more intimate relationship but she said no. On the day of the incident they went to a counselling session. The counsellor told him no meant no, and he was not to resort to any violence.

After the session, they went to her house for lunch. He was to be given a lift afterwards. She went to brush her teeth after eating and he followed her, asking her to just lie down with him.

She did so to appease him, but when he started to kiss her she reminded him of what the counsellor had said. He became aggressive and ripped off her clothes. She screamed and he choked her and told her to stop.

When he eased up, she started to get off the bed. He grabbed her by the hair and said if she didn’t stop struggling he would have to kill her. She continued to struggle and he put a pillow over her face. He then had sex with her twice and performed another indecent act.

Later when she was driving to do an errand and give him a lift, she got near a police station and pulled the key out of the ignition. She went in and made her report.

Ms Moore set out the defendant’s previous convictions for assault and noted there were matters of domestic violence involving his new wife. In the case before the court the degradation of oral sex was an aggravating feature, she said.

Defence Attorney Nicholas Dixey said his client’s drug abuse explained his behaviour but did not excuse it. The man’s parents had fought a lot and he grew up with violence in the home.

Mr. Dixey quoted guidelines from a UK sentencing advisory panel that listed starting points of five, eight and 15 years, depending on circumstances. He reminded the court that the guilty plea saved the woman from having to give evidence.

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