A man found guilty of “violently” raping a 76-year-old woman has been sentenced to eight years’ jail.
Christo Brown, of Launceston, was found guilty of rape, aggravated burglary and demanding property with the intent to steal by a Launceston Supreme Court jury on July 5.
Shortly after learning of his fate, the 21-year-old muttered “awesome” as he was escorted from the court room by corrections officers on Friday.
In July 2015, Brown entered the woman’s home about 2am, put his arm around her neck, and demanded sex and money from her. The woman resisted but Brown, who was 18 at the time, overpowered her.
He began “violently” raping her, causing the woman great pain and she screamed in agony.
The woman told police she prayed for Brown after he raped her.
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The morning after the crime, Brown flew to Melbourne, but he was later arrested and extradited back to Tasmania.
Brown did not give evidence during the trial in July this year, but denied involvement in the crimes during a police interview in 2015.
During sentencing on Friday, Justice Robert Pearce said the crime caused the woman to have panic attacks and flashbacks.
She will experience the effects of this horrific event for the rest of her life.Justice Robert Pearce
“Despite conducting herself with the utmost dignity and stoicism, the impact on the complainant has been understandably dramatic,” Justice Pearce said.
“She will experience the effects of this horrific event for the rest of her life.”
Defence counsel lawyer Alan Hensley told the court his client was among the first Sudanese migrants to Launceston and, throughout his childhood and teenage years, he had suffered prejudice because of the colour of his skin.
But Justice Pearce said that did not provide explanation or mitigation for a crime of this gravity.
Brown’s willingness to complete rehabilitation programs and his age were taken into consideration during sentencing. Brown was sentenced to eight years’ jail backdated to October 2, 2017. He will be eligible for parole after four years.
Brown will also be placed on the sex offender register.