Friday, 17 October 2008

Car boot rapist jailed for 14 years

A Sydney teenager who launched a "rampage of rape" on a topless waitress after hiding in her car boot has been jailed for at least 14 years.

In setting a maximum term of 20 years for James Nigel Stephens, Judge Michael Finnane said "It must be the worst nightmare for any woman to have a man suddenly emerge in a motor vehicle".

Stephens, then 18, was at a buck's party where the woman, 22, had worked in January last year. He secretly took her keys, opened the boot and later got into it.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated detention of a person for advantage over the incident at Waterloo, in inner-Sydney.

"What he did was horrifying in its cruelty," the judge said in the New South Wales District Court.

"It was planned and calculated.

"He hid himself in the boot of her car and when she was alone, emerged suddenly, grabbed her from behind, threatening her with a plastic fork pressed to her neck, causing her to scream with fear."

He forced the woman to pull over "then started a rampage of rape, in the course of which he anally raped her twice, vaginally three times, orally once and digitally twice".

The judge said Stephens had good relationships with his family, particularly his sister, and there was nothing in his background to suggest he was a sex offender.

"Some of the offences had a sadistic quality to them and he showed, during the time of committing these offences, an attitude of contempt for the complainant and utter indifference to her suffering," he said.

"Nothing in his background explains any of this."

The judge concluded Stephens had "intelligence, ambition, physical fitness" and had been well regarded as an employee and as a footballer with some potential.

"I must emphasise that I have no acceptable evidence that he drank to excess or that he consumed anabolic steroids," the judge said.

During sentencing submissions last month, Stephens' barrister had submitted the teenager had probably been under the influence of a "very, very nasty cocktail" of alcohol and steroids.

No comments: