Remorseless rapist ‘did what he did because he wanted to’, judge says

Warning: This story contains graphic content.

A man who repeatedly raped and bashed a woman he held captive across five days has failed to explain his crimes or show remorse, prompting a judge to raise concerns he will remain a risk when released from jail.

The home of Robert Wilson, who raped a woman 18 times after the pair met on dating app Badoo.Credit:Victoria Police

Robert William Wilson raped the woman 18 times during nine attacks at his home in Darley, near Bacchus Marsh, between March 25 and 29, 2019, after the pair met on dating app Badoo weeks earlier.

Despite the brutality of Wilson’s crimes, his barrister told the County Court on Wednesday that the rapist deserved a reduced sentence because he had pleaded guilty and spared the victim the ordeal of giving evidence in a trial.

The court has heard Wilson told the woman she could not leave the home, and that he committed vile and degrading sexual acts against her, repeatedly punched her to the face and head, stomped on her stomach, pointed a speargun at her head and constantly asked her: “Do you want to die?”

When Wilson drove the woman to her home on the fifth day, she was unrecognisable to one of her friends because of the bruises and swelling to her face.

Robert Wilson has pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and other charges.Credit:Facebook

Wilson, 35, pleaded guilty to three charges of rape, which cover all the sexual offences, and single counts of false imprisonment, intentionally causing injury and theft, related to $3130 he stole from the woman.

But the court was told on Wednesday he had no explanation for his crimes and had not displayed remorse. In a victim impact statement the woman wrote that the crimes meant her life would never be normal again.

Judge Fiona Todd told defence counsel Simon Kenny on Wednesday that the offending – which the judge labelled “breathtaking in its persistent brutality” – showed Wilson had a propensity for rape, and the lack of rehabilitative factors posed a problem for when he was eventually released from prison.

Wilson has spent three years in custody since his arrest.

A speargun used by Robert Wilson to threaten his victim.Credit:Victoria Police

“My assessment of your client’s capacity for rehabilitation and the risk he poses to the community is very grim … based on what he did,” the judge said.

“What appears to me, at this stage, is he did what he did because he wanted to, and he thought he might escape the consequences.”

Prosecutor Ruth Champion said Wilson’s crimes were grave and part of a terrifying course of conduct that involved cruelty, humiliating sex acts, taking photographs of the woman, using an iron bar to assault her and a speargun to threaten, and taunts over her appearance.

“It was a gross debasement of her and a denial of her humanity,” Champion said.

Robert Wilson’s home in Darley, near Bacchus Marsh. Credit:Simone Fox Koob

She said the lack of information about why Wilson offended posed a concern he would reoffend.

Kenny acknowledged Wilson faced a long prison stretch because his crimes were so serious.

The defence barrister said Wilson deserved a sentencing discount because he pleaded guilty, which had spared the victim giving evidence and saved the community the costs of a trial.

In response, the judge said the woman was questioned briefly at a previous hearing but agreed Wilson’s admissions meant the victim and jurors would not be “exposed to this horror”.

Wilson had a “chaotic” childhood in Tasmania, his lawyer said, and was kicked out of his family home at 15 after an argument with his father, who was violent and abused alcohol and drugs. Wilson then began abusing alcohol himself.

He was married for seven years and after his 2017 separation continued seeing his two daughters. A video of Wilson’s home, filmed by a police officer and played to the court, shows children’s bedrooms and toys for when the girls stayed over.

Kenny said his client had planned to run a car wrecking yard and was now no longer in contact with his former wife and daughters.

Wilson has prior convictions including assault and stomping on another woman’s head. His lawyer said the notoriety of his case meant he was likely to spend time in protective custody.

The plea hearing will return in June.

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