Chaotic life of ‘ice freaks’

For­mer cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship de­scribed dur­ing rape trial

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS ON THE RECORD - Kerri-Anne Mes­ner kerri-anne.mes­ner@cap­news.com.au

WARN­ING: GRAPHIC EV­I­DENCE

A FOR­MER cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship has been de­scribed as “chaotic on-again, off-again be­tween two ice freaks” dur­ing a trial where the man has been ac­cused of forc­ing the woman to give him oral sex.

The man had pleaded guilty at the be­gin­ning of the trial in the Rock­hamp­ton District Court to five charges in re­la­tion to as­saults and chok­ing of the woman while she lived with him in Rock­hamp­ton dur­ing a short pe­riod last year.

How­ever, he has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape for the al­leged oral sex.

Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Tif­fany Lawrence, in her clos­ing ad­dress, said the woman al­leged she was forced to give the man oral sex for about an hour or two and that he ejac­u­lated two or three times in that pe­riod.

The al­le­ga­tion in­cluded the woman be­ing asked by the man to give him oral sex, which she ini­tially said no to, but when she turned to look at him, he was sit­ting on the couch with no pants on, mas­tur­bat­ing and then de­manded oral sex.

Ms Lawrence said the woman feared he would be­come vi­o­lent, as he had done on many oc­ca­sions in the pre­vi­ous month, if she did not com­ply.

“‘Putting up with it’ is not con­sent,” she said.

Ms Lawrence pointed to the woman’s ev­i­dence where she said the de­fen­dant put his fin­gers in her head wounds that he had caused days be­fore while he was forc­ing her head down on his pe­nis.

How­ever, de­fence lawyer Ross Lo Monaco in his clos­ing ad­dress, put for­ward the man’s ver­sion of events that day which in­cluded the woman of­fer­ing the blow job to help him de-stress af­ter a court ap­pear­ance where he found out he could be fac­ing six months in prison.

The court heard the pen­e­tra­tion of the pe­nis into the woman’s mouth was not dis­puted, only whether it was con­sen­sual oral sex or not.

The court also de­tails about the as­sault and chok­ing in­ci­dents as part of the back­ground of the al­leged rape in­ci­dent in­clud­ing an in­ci­dent where he as­saulted her while his mother was in the house. The in­juries she’d sus­tained from the as­saults in­cluded a lac­er­a­tion to her fore­head near the hair­line, two rup­tured eardrums and a round bruise where he’d poked her with a broom han­dle.

“You don’t au­to­mat­i­cally as­sume the rape oc­curred be­cause he’s been vi­o­lent to­wards her in the past,” Mr Lo Monaco said.

The ac­cused had taken the stand dur­ing the trial and Mr Lo Monaco de­scribed his ev­i­dence as “warts and all” ad­mis­sions to his drug tak­ing, as­saults and chok­ing against the vic­tim with some vari­ances in his ver­sion of events.

The court heard the cou­ple’s re­la­tion­ship started un­rav­el­ling af­ter the man dis­cov­ered some­thing on the woman’s phone he didn’t like and he threw it in on coals of a fire, but, ac­cord­ing to Mr Lo Monaco, the man re­trieved it be­fore the phone was dam­aged.

A do­mes­tic vi­o­lence order was then put in place and the woman re­turned to her fam­ily on the Sun­shine Coast.

Ms Lawrence submitted the woman re­turned to Rock­hamp­ton af­ter the de­fen­dant threat­ened her and her fam­ily, in­clud­ing her own chil­dren.

How­ever, Mr Lo Monaco submitted the woman re­turned of her own ac­cord as she ar­rived on a train and had to find her own way to his client’s house as he did not meet her at the sta­tion.

Mr Lo Monaco raised this is­sue af­ter the woman claimed she couldn’t get away from the de­fen­dant.

“She’s ba­si­cally (al­leged she’s) been held cap­tive,” he said.

The court heard the as­saults and chok­ing in­ci­dents oc­curred af­ter her re­turn and she even called DV Con­nect af­ter one in­ci­dent and then spent the night at a shel­ter.

Mr Lo Monaco said his client claims the woman was free to come and go as she pleased, which she did, in­clud­ing when she spent the night at a friend’s place.

He re­ferred to an in­ci­dent where the woman was at a pay phone near the man’s house when he drove past, say­ing if she hadn’t been “free”, would the man stop the car and “drag her back to the house?”.

Mr Lo Monaco said they were both “ice freaks” smok­ing and in­ject­ing the il­licit sub­stance.

He re­ferred to one of the as­sault in­ci­dents where she claimed he be­came an­gry with her when she asked to go to Coles to get food.

“She said she needed food be­cause she hadn’t eaten for three days,” he said.

“She (ad­mit­ted) she’d been us­ing speed for three days (and that’s why she hadn’t eaten).”

Mr Lo Monaco also at­tacked a part of her ev­i­dence where she claimed the de­fen­dant asked her to stab him in the neck to in­ject ice.

Mr Lo Monaco pointed to­wards his client’s own ev­i­dence where he “warts and all” ad­mit­ted to “stab­bing him­self in the neck to get a hit of ice”.

“It’s all pretty sick and sad,” he said.

“It’s a life­style many of us would want to swap with.”

The jury re­tired and had not reached a ver­dict by close of busi­ness yes­ter­day.

You don’t au­to­mat­i­cally as­sume the rape oc­curred be­cause he’s been vi­o­lent to­wards her in the past.

— De­fence bar­ris­ter Ross Lo Monaco

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