Rodney Charles Cuthbert

Posted: August 30, 2014 by Serendipity in Tasmania
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http://www.news.com.au/national/tasmania/fireman-jailed-for-rape/story-fnn32rbc-1227041630938

Fireman jailed for rape

  • August 30, 2014 12:00AM

A DECORATED fireman who raped a woman after a friend’s 50th birthday party was jailed for three and a half years in the Supreme Court yesterday, but has avoided being placed on the sex offenders register.

In sentencing Rodney Charles Cuthbert to a non-parole period of 21 months, Justice Helen Wood said the 51-year-old had subjected his victim to a terrifying ordeal when he entered her unlocked house on July 6 last year and forced himself upon her in the living room.

The court heard that Cuthbert and the victim knew each other as acquaintances as the woman was a neighbour of a friend.

Justice Wood said the woman – 15 years Cuthbert’s junior – was completely disinterested in him sexually and was distressed when the older man forcibly kissed her at a house party hosted by Cuthbert’s friend.

The woman left the party around midnight and Cuthbert followed her, entering her house without knocking.

Finding the woman getting undressed in the living room, Cuthbert ignored her protests and pushed her onto a matt­ress where he raped her.

Afterwards, he asked if he could call her.

Wearing a dressing gown and in tears, the victim left her house and gained the attention of a partygoer who called police.

When interviewed by police the next day, Cuthbert did not deny sex had taken place but claimed it had been consen­sual.

Justice Wood acknowledged the distress and emot­ional harm the incident had caused the victim, saying she was likely to suffer for years to come. But she said Cuthbert’s references and exemplary work history, which included being awarded the National Medal, were signif­icant factors in mitigation.

She described Cuthbert’s actions as totally out of character, and said the father of two would lose his car­eer and was unlikely to offend in a similar way again. With time already served, Cuthbert will be elig­ible for parole in May, 2016.

 

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