A lawyer has questioned “what on earth” a jury was doing when it convicted a Melbourne man for the rape of his new wife.
The man, known by the pseudonym Jayadev Patil, was acquitted of some charges and the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on others.
But he was convicted of 10 charges of rape, two of assault and one charge of threatening to kill his new bride, who he described as “my property” after their 2015 wedding.
Patil is appealing those convictions – but prosecutors are challenging the prison sentence he received, arguing it’s inadequate.
He’s behind bars and must serve at least six years and seven months of a nine years and seven months sentence before he’s eligible for parole. He will be deported on his release.
Patil’s lawyer John Dickinson QC said it seemed the jury started with the idea that Patil was guilty unless they could find some doubt in the case.
“It makes me wonder what on earth this jury was doing,” he said on Wednesday.
Justice Terry Forrest suggested that “might be the paranoid criminal barrister coming out” in him.
Mr Dickinson also challenged the finding that Patil’s actions were a breach of trust, saying such a breach required an imbalance in the relationship.
The victim had been in Melbourne for just three days, and had not met Patil before their arranged marriage. The rapes began the day after their wedding.
She was raped over five months, each time resisting and telling him to stop. On two occasions she was beaten first. She gave evidence that he slapped her and told her he would show her “what a man is”.
On another occasion he threatened the lives of her brother and niece, and later threatened to kill her.
Mr Dickinson conceded the woman was vulnerable and had “been here five minutes before she got married” but rejected that there was a breach of trust.
The Court of Appeal judges took issue with that suggestion.
“Whether you call it trust, whether you call it faith in him as a human being – the circumstances leap out at you from the page,” he said.
The woman reported the attacks to police after fleeing interstate, having initially remained in the marriage fearing she would be killed or deported, and because of the cultural shame around failed marriages.
The judges will hand down their decision at a later date.