by John Weekes
A SICK man persuaded his partner to move in and care for him, then confiscated her phone and started raping her.
He was sentenced to seven years' jail, but said the prosecution case was so weak he should not have been imprisoned.
A Gladstone jury found the 55-year-old man guilty in November last year.
The woman, in her 40s, met the man in early 2014. Five months later, they started living together in Central Queensland.
The man, who had an eye disorder and trouble reading, persuaded his partner to leave her job and take up a publicly funded role caring for him.
The relationship quickly turned sour.
"He confiscated her phone and her SIM card so that, she said, she was unable to talk to her children, her mother or her friends,” Justice Philip McMurdo said in a new Court of Appeal judgement.
"And he began to sexually abuse her.”
The woman said rapes were soon happening more often than consensual sex, and she described a series of degrading and painful acts.
The couple then moved to another neighbourhood, where the woman knew nobody.
"She had had no contact with her children, mother or friends for about six weeks,” Justice McMurdo added.
The couple split in January 2015, and within a fortnight the woman complained to a GP about being sexually assaulted.
Police were alerted six months later.
After the man was jailed, he complained to the appeal court that his "side was not heard” and claimed the woman was on illegal drugs.
He said he contracted emphysema in jail and was unable to challenge his convictions in a timely fashion.
The appeal court refused his application for more time to appeal against the convictions and sentences.
In Queensland, people have one calendar month from conviction or sentence date to appeal but can ask for extensions.
The court accepted the man had health and literacy problems but found no "satisfactory explanation” for him taking five months to lodge his appeals.
To protect her identity, the woman's name was suppressed. -NewsRegional