Sydney man gets federal time for sexual assaults
Tyler Rudderham was 19 when offences took place
A 22-year-old Sydney man has received a six-year prison sentence for a host of criminal charges including multiple counts of sexual assault, assault with a weapon and forcible confinement.
With credit for time spent on remand since his arrest, Tyler Rudderham will serve an additional two years and four months in prison.
Judge Jean Whalen noted in passing sentence that she had to consider the seriousness of Rudderham’s crimes while also taking into account his age — he was 19 when the offences occurred — and his potential for rehabilitation.
“From (the victim impact statement) I’ve gleaned that this has had a long-lasting emotional trauma, that she experienced a horrifying experience at the hospital, that there are permanent physical injuries, that she suffers from depression and anxiety and that she has huge worries with respect to Mr. Rudderham, but she also has huge plans to rise above her experience,” Whalen said.
Sexual intercourse without consent is an inherently violent act, the judge said, and when a weapon is used in the commission of the offence it is even more egregious, adding that Rudderham had treated the victim, “like she was a piece of meat.”
Rudderham initially faced 37 criminal charges and was found guilty at trial on 23 offences — eight counts of assault with a weapon (including a sling shot, a cup of coffee, a door and a knife), six counts of uttering threats, three counts of forcible confinement, three counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault and a single count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose (a knife) against a single female victim.
The offences are alleged to have occurred between December 2013 and September 2014 in Sydney.
The victim noted she has suffered permanent nerve damage to her face as a result of her injuries, which is a constant reminder of the abuse that she suffered.
Rudderham appeared via video link from a correctional centre in New Glasgow for the sentencing. When given the chance to address the court, a letter written by Rudderham was read into the record on his behalf in which he asked for “another chance to have my life back,” and said he has always followed instructions during his 54 court appearances on the charges. He noted he has also taken an anger management course and has been rewarded by working in the institution’s kitchen while on remand.
Crown attorney Mark Gouthro had requested a total sentence of eight years while defence lawyer Bill Burchell had asked that his client receive a total sentence of four years.
Burchell noted that several relatives and friends of the family wrote letters in support of his client. He added that Rudderham struggled with a learning disability but has furthered his education while on remand and intends to continue to do so, possibly by pursuing a forestry course. He noted Rudderham was greatly affected by the death of his father when he was 12 and three years later by the death of his older brother.
Rudderham has maintained that he is not guilty of the offences. He must also submit a DNA sample to the national registry and will be listed on the sexual offender registry for life.