Judge denies man early prison release following brutal rape of gran

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The man was just 18 when he broke into his 78-year-old victim's home, raped her and demanded $250. A judge has now dismissed his appeal against his conviction for an early prison release. Source: Getty

A man who raped an elderly Tasmanian woman in 2015 has had his appeal against his conviction and sentence dismissed.

As reported by The Mercury on Wedneday, a jury found Christo Brown – who was 18 at the time of the crime – guilty of raping the 76-year-old woman while she was in bed at her home in Launceston.

The man was also found guilty of aggravated burglary and intended to steal $250 from his victim. On Wednesday, the Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the man’s appeal against his conviction and eight-year sentence, which he described as “manifestly excessive in all the circumstances”.

According to The Mercury, Acting Justice Shane Marshall claimed Brown’s grounds of appeal “lacked merit”. Marshall agreed that the original eight-year sentence handed to Brown “was an appropriate one” and agreed with the original judge’s decision to argue the man had a tendency to sexually assault women while they slept.

In 2018, a Launceston Supreme Court jury unanimously found Brown guilty of his crimes. According to The Examiner, Brown was shocked by the verdict delivered, which found him guilty of aggravated burglary, demanding property with the intent to menace or steal, and rape.

According to the report, he broke into the woman’s home, told her to take off her clothes, raped her and demanded $250. He fled to Melbourne but was later arrested and extradited to Tasmania. Brown denied involvement in the crimes.

The victim told police her attacker was “desperate for sex” and believed the man wanted money for drugs. She also said the man caused her “a tremendous amount of pain” and described the incident as “devastating”.

The latest verdict comes after Brown originally denied all involvement in the crime. The ABC reported in 2018 that Brown’s defence lawyer agreed the assault took place, but claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.

He said no one saw the man enter or leave the property and that while DNA evidence showed “similarities” to his client, it didn’t prove he was the attacker. He also said the victim described being attacked by a person with a different skin tone and didn’t pick him out of a police line-up.

It was also reported the victim told her attacker she would pray that God would forgive him for his actions.

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