Men sentenced for ‘worst’ rape police had seen
WARNING: Graphic content.
TWO Brisbane men who lured a medical student into a dark alleyway to rape her have been sentenced seven years after the attack.
Ryan David George, 33, and Jack Scott Turner Winship, 26, were today sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to at least four years and three months' jail after a jury found the pair guilty on Tuesday afternoon.
Both men pleaded not guilty to the April 2011 rape which saw them lead the then-20-year-old woman into a South Brisbane alleyway before sexually assaulting and raping her until she bled.
The court heard the woman, who cannot be identified, was targeted after the men noticed she was drunk and staggering towards a bus stop in West End.
During the trial, Turner Winship said the woman was "enjoying herself" during the rape.
After the attack, the pair went to a nearby pub and "bragged" about what they'd just done with a group of friends.
"We had a sexual encounter, so yeah, we told our friends about it," Turner Winship said. "We had no reason not to tell anyone."
The trial heard the pair was in a "jovial and cavalier" mood after the rape.
Michael Hayward, a prosecution witness, found the woman stumbling out of the alleyway with blood down her thighs and hands. The woman, a Brisbane medical student, had not had sex before the rape.
Mr Hayward told the court the woman appeared "out of it" and told him "these guys are trying to hurt me".
That comment prompted Mr Hayward to run and catch up to the pair, who then bragged about the attack.
The jury took less than three hours to deliver a guilty verdict yesterday afternoon. They had been told they could go home at 5.30pm but told the court they had reached a verdict 10 minutes later.
Throughout the week-long trial, the jury was shown a bunch of disturbing evidence including photos of the alleyway littered with bloody handprints.
Turner Winship told the court he didn't realise the woman was bleeding until after they'd left and he saw blood on his hand.
Crown prosecutor Dzenita Balic also argued against Turner Winship's claim the woman was "moaning" and making "pleasurable noises" during the attack.
Rather, Mr Balic told the court the woman was "wincing in pain".
It took detectives five years to arrest Turner Winship and George for the rape.
The men were arrested and charged in 2016 after DNA from a cigarette butt and the woman's underwear linked them to the crime scene.
Queensland Police also released CCTV from the night and received a number of public tip-offs.
Throughout their lengthy investigation, police said it was one of the worst cases they'd dealt with. Days after the woman's sexual assault, Inspector Rod Kemp told reporters it was the worst he'd seen.
"She was most aggressively raped in the worst way that I have seen in my service," he said in 2011.
"All I can say is this person did the right thing as far as I'm concerned, she stuck to the main drag as she walked down to catch the bus but unfortunately this happened so it shows you've got to be very wary of your own safety," he added.
Both were convicted of three counts of rape and one of sexual assault yesterday.
The question of whether or not the woman consenting was a matter of contention for the jury - reigniting the debate for Queensland to introduce sexual consent laws.
Queensland rape victim advocates have called for a state government inquiry into sexual consent laws, saying they are so outdated most assaults go unreported.
Women's Legal Service solicitor Julie Sarkozy said the offence of rape is easier to defend in Queensland than in any other state, because defendants can still argue they mistakenly believed they had consent.
"The existing rape laws are failing Queenslanders so badly that the majority of rapes go unreported," she told ABC radio on Wednesday.
- With wires