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Attorney General's Reference (No 86 of 2006) sub nom R v Julkowski

Offences of rape that occurred within a domestic marital context did not justify a reduction in sentence, and judges should have regard to a defendant’s culpability, the perceived risk he posed to society, the level of harm inflicted and the impact of the offences upon the victim.

10 November 2006

The Attorney General referred to the court as unduly lenient a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment imposed concurrently on the defendant (J) following his convictions for three counts of rape. J and the victim (V) had been married for 18 years. The relationship was turbulent and violent, as J had regularly forced V to perform degrading acts and had at one stage forced her to find work as a prostitute. The offences had only come to light following V’s hospitalisation for injuries sustained during a beating by J. V disclosed to medical staff treating her that J had raped her on several occasions, and he was indicted for vaginal, anal and oral rape. At trial, V and J’s two teenage daughters gave evidence of the violent and abusive nature of their parents’ marriage, although they had not been present during the course of any sexual abuse. The Attorney General submitted that: (1) the sentence imposed failed to reflect the seriousness of the offending and the fact that the level...

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