Illawarra sex assault sentence upheld

A man who subjected an Illawarra woman to a humiliating, prolonged sexual assault has lost his bid to have his jail term reduced.

Leonard James Simpson was sentenced to a minimum six years' jail in Wollongong District Court in late 2012 after pleading guilty to violently physically and sexually assaulting the woman.

But the 42-year-old lodged an appeal against his sentence, claiming it was "manifestly excessive."

Dismissing the case in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal last week, Justice Clifton Hoeben said he had not been persuaded that the sentence was unreasonable or unjust.

He rejected Simpson's claim that sentencing judge Paul Conlon had not made a precise assessment of the objective seriousness of the offence.

Justice Hoeben told the court the judge had done "all that was required of him" by assessing the offence as being "objectively very serious".

He also rejected Simpson's suggestion the short length of the sexual assault was a relevant consideration, noting the seriousness of the offence depended on all the circumstances.

"In this case, although the act of intercourse looked at in isolation could be described as of short duration, it has to be looked at in the context to which it occurred," Justice Hoeben said.

"It [followed] a severe physical beating ... it was accompanied by threats and other conduct designed to humiliate and degrade ...

"It follows that ... it would be quite inappropriate to look at the acts of intercourse in isolation without having full regard to the surrounding context and circumstances ... [they were such] as to make the duration of the acts largely irrelevant."

Simpson repeatedly punched the woman in the face, pulled her hair, bit her nose and threatened to kill her during the violent attack on August 29, 2011, the court heard. He then sexually assaulted her before continuing to verbally and physically assault her long into the night.

In sentencing Simpson, Judge Conlon labelled the offences "impulsive" but said the sexual assault was calculated to degrade, demean and dehumanise.

He rejected Simpson's claim that he did not remember the assault. Simpson is due for release in 2017.

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