Two men who raped a woman in a caravan after she refused a threesome have continued to show “no remorse” despite being convicted twice for their actions, a court has been told.
The Crown has appealed Shaun Bloomfield and Luke Merryfull’s sentences more than five months after they walked free from the County Court of Victoria.
Both men were jailed in 2019 but had their convictions overturned the following year after a witness came forward with new evidence.
Having each spent 522 days behind bars, the men went on to face three retrials until a jury found Bloomfield guilty of two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault and Merryfull guilty of one count of rape in August last year.
In April, Bloomfield was sentenced to time served and a three-year community corrections order with 300 hours of community service.
Merryfull received a sentence of time served and a two-year community corrections order with 200 hours of community service.
The court was told that both men raped a woman at a birthday party near Balmoral in Victoria’s Western District in April 2016.
On the evening of the party, Merryfull suggested a threesome to the woman and Bloomfield while the three were inside a caravan.
The woman, who was trying to go to sleep, “immediately and clearly rejected” the proposition.
She was digitally raped by Bloomfield before Merryfull removed his pants and raped her. He then told Bloomfield words to the effect of “she’s all yours now”.
Merryfull then left the caravan and Bloomfield proceeded to force the woman to touch his penis before he raped her.
Both men maintained the incident was consensual.
At an appeal hearing held in Victoria’s Court of Appeal on Monday, Crown lawyer Brendan Kissane KC said both men had “never shown remorse” for their actions.
Merryfull’s lawyer Richard Edney argued that his client had experienced “an awakening and an understanding of his conduct”.
“That is an important indicator that his rehabilitation is not just … contemplative but has actually occurred,” Mr Edney said.
Bloomfield’s lawyer Rishi Nathwani said his client had the right to “maintain his innocence” and had shown “no desires or actions” to suggest he might reoffend.
Bloomfield had not previously shown empathy towards the victim and was yet to undertake the rehabilitative program that is part of his corrections order, the court was told.
His lawyer told the court that his client was on a waiting list for the course and rehabilitation “takes time and treatment and he’s just started to receive that treatment”.
Mr Kissane said neither man had demonstrated that they were rehabilitated.
“If you’re not accepting that you’ve done anything wrong … it can’t be accepted that has any part to play,” Mr Kissane said.
“There’s been no remorse, they haven’t owned up to it.”
The three appeal judges, Justice Karin Emerton, Justice Cameron Macaulay and Justice Lesley Taylor, adjourned proceedings about 1pm and reserved their judgment.
They will likely deliberate for several weeks before returning with a decision.