Retrial for man convicted of fiancee rape


These are great days we're living, bros

A man's trial for raping his fiancee should have been adjourned until after he had been tried separately for the alleged murder of his wife, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was convicted of raping his fiancee in 2007.

In 2008, while awaiting trial, he was also charged with the 2006 murder of his former wife.

It was alleged the murder occurred just months before he met his fiancee on the internet.
He has since been acquitted of his wife's murder.

On Wednesday, the man was granted a retrial in the rape case, after the Court of Appeal ruled the trial should have been adjourned until after the murder case.

In April 2009, four months before his rape trial was due to begin, an application was made to the Victorian County Court Chief Judge Michael Rozenes for the trial to be adjourned.

Judge Rozenes was told the crown intended to call the alleged rape victim as a witness in the murder case to give evidence of the man's violence towards her.
This was to show that he had a propensity to violence, the judge was told.

Lawyers for the man told Judge Rozenes that the fact the woman was giving evidence in the murder case limited the matters which could be put to her in cross-examination in the rape trial.
It was also argued it had the potential to affect the man's decision whether or not to give evidence in the rape trial.

But Judge Rozenes rejected the argument saying any risk could be managed by the prosecutor and trial judge in the rape trial.

Two further applications made before Judge Rozenes and another application before the judge in the rape trial were also rejected.

Appealing the conviction, lawyers for the man argued the County Court judges had erred by failing to adjourn the trial.

Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell and justices Mark Weinberg and Iain Ross agreed and on Wednesday ordered a retrial.

"In my respectful opinion, however, the adjournment application ought to have been granted," Justice Maxwell wrote in his judgment.

"There was a serious risk that the pendency of the murder committal would unfairly inhibit the applicant in the exercise of his rights as defendant in the rape trial."

Further details about the alleged murder cannot be published for legal reasons.