Rebels bikie's act of rape was 'at lower end of seriousness', lawyer says

The rape of a woman inside the Rebels motorcycle gangs' clubhouse was at the "lower end of seriousness" for the crime, a lawyer has told the Hobart Supreme Court.

A 33-year-old bikie was found guilty of raping the woman in October 2013 inside the gangs' Letitia Street clubrooms in North Hobart.

The 28-year-old victim told the court she had considered the man a friend before the rape.

She said she had since considered taking her own life.

"I am a young woman. This is not the way I envisioned my life would be," she said.

"I trusted the rapist and considered him my friend. I could not have been more wrong ... [he] treated me as nothing more than dirty, useless rubbish."

The court heard the man had no prior convictions for a serious crime.

Lawyer Garth Stevens said his client was associated with the Rebels for almost a decade because of his love of motorbikes and charity work.

"The myth raised by Tasmania police and members of the media about motorcycle gangs does not apply to this man," he said.

Mr Stevens said his client had pleaded not guilty and fought the charge because he had honestly believed it was consensual sex.

He said the trial, time in custody and conviction had caused the breakdown of the man's long-term relationship and caused him to move out of the family home.

Mr Stevens said the man had also lost his job as a consequence and it was unlikely his now estranged partner would be able to afford the mortgage without his help.

He said it lacked many of the usual aggravating factors including use of a weapon, threats of violence or pre-planning.

"This is an example of the type of crime at the lower end of seriousness," Mr Stevens said.

Justice Helen Wood said every rape was a serious crime and remanded the man in custody for sentencing in two weeks' time.

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Edith Bevin
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abc.net.au




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