Bendigo gang rape accused jailed

Two teenagers who took part in the gang rape of a young mother in her Bendigo home as her two children slept nearby were jailed for three years today.

A third teenager, now aged 19, who had also been involved in the gang rape, is on the run from police after failing to turn up in court.

Police claimed the mother of two was subjected to repeated sexual assault by a gang of six youths in January last year.

The woman, who was 21 at the time, was allegedly dragged into the laundry where the gang took turns raping her.

Three teenagers were convicted in the Children's Court in March this year of raping the woman and were jailed for three years but appealed against their convictions and sentences.

They were granted bail and their appeal was heard last month before County Court judge Richard Maidment, sitting as the Children's Court, but one of the teenagers failed to turn up and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Judge Maidment today found the other two teenagers, now aged 15 and 18, guilty of four counts of rape and one count of false imprisonment. The 15-year-old was also found guilty of one count of indecent assault.

The judge said the two teenagers had been the instigators of the gang rape and had shown a callous disregard for the emotional and physical welfare of the victim.

The attack had involved "serious acts of gang violence" which had caused substantial on-going harm to the mental well-being of the victim and her husband.

Both teenagers had shown no remorse.

Judge Maidment said mobile phone video footage had been taken of the victim being attacked on the night.

The judge said he had no reason to be optimistic that the two teenagers would resist the temptation to rape again if the opportunity arose.

"It is likely both of you would take more care to avoid detection if engaged in similar conduct again," he said.

Judge Maidment said there was a need to protect women from the teenagers' "violent and wrongful acts".

He sentenced both teenagers to three years in a youth detention centre.

Defence barrister Charlotte Duckett, representing the 18-year-old, had earlier told the court the youth had wanted to throw himself off the County Court building after being convicted of rape.

Ms Duckett said the youth's schooling had been interrupted since he had been charged but he realised this was the fallout from this type of offending.

The youth was worried about being known as a rapist while in detention.

Three other youths accused of taking part in the gang rape will stand trial in the County Court later this year.

An earlier court hearing has been told that at times the gang allegedly pinned the victim against the wall while another raped her.

Police had alleged the woman had been out drinking and dancing with a friend at a local nightclub when she befriended a woman and invited her back to her house to keep drinking. The court heard that the other woman knew some of the accused.