A Queensland man has been sentenced to nine years’ jail after pleading guilty to two counts of torture and two counts of rape.
A Brisbane woman was doused in petrol and her clothes set alight by her jealous boyfriend, who subjected her to hours of horrific abuse and torture while high on drugs, a court has heard.
Anthony Morgan Clarke, 27, was sentenced to nine years’ jail in the Brisbane District Court on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of torture and two counts of rape.
The 20-year-old victim was also tied up and had cleaning products poured on her face, a lit cigarette lighter held to her skin, and forced to endure being beaten with a tin of tuna wrapped in a towel during two separate torture sessions last year.
Crown prosecutor Dennis Kinsella said the abuse occurred over a number of hours on two separate occasions in January and March last year at the house the couple shared in Darra, in Brisbane’s southwest.
Clarke had taken methylamphetamine on both occasions when he flew into a jealous rage believing his girlfriend of only a few months had been unfaithful.
Mr Kinsella said during the abuse Clarke had also threatened her with a steak knife, strangled her until she passed out and used various implements including a frying pan to hurt her.
He said Clarke sprayed a cleaning product – and poured laundry liquid – on his girlfriend’s face, burned her with a cigarette lighter, and poured fuel over and set her clothes alight, before putting out the flames.
The woman was punched, digitally raped and told she would die during the shocking attacks, which the court heard left her with injuries that required hospitalisation, and with lasting emotional scars.
Mr Kinsella said the abuse was so horrific the woman tried to end her own life several times.
Clarke, who called an ambulance for his battered lover after subjecting her to the torture, was arrested while visiting her in hospital after the second attack.
Mr Kinsella said the woman suffered “base and demeaning” indignities in Clarke’s desire to assert his dominance.
Defence barrister Kim Bryson said Clarke had been exposed to violence and drugs early in life, with his mothered murdered when he was 11 and his father in and out of prison.
On sentencing, Judge Hugh Botting said a victim impact statement by the woman indicated the emotional toll the abuse had taken on her.
“But perhaps the best indication of her despair, her utter despair, is her belief that she might better help herself by ending her life,” Judge Botting said.
Clarke was declared a serious violent offender which means he must serve 80 per cent of his sentence – more than seven years – behind bars before he becomes eligible for parole.