Rapist out in 16 months

A MAN who raped a teenager and was jailed for four years yes- terday will be eligible for release in 16 months.

Shane Ashley Betteridge, 19, pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court to raping a 17-year- old girl on May 30, 2003.

Judge Grant Britton sentenced Betteridge to four years jail, but ordered the sentence be suspend- ed after 16 months.

He further ruled that if Better- idge reoffended within four years of his release he could be re- turned to prison to serve out his sentence.

Crown prosecutor Justin Whal- ley said that at the time of the rape, Betteridge was on bail for robbing a taxi driver with a wa- ter pistol.

The rape victim's flatmate and flatmate's boyfriend were home during the assault.

Betteridge had met the com- plainant at a youth shelter, where they were both staying.

She later moved into a unit in Rockhampton with a girlfriend.

Mr Whalley said Betteridge had been there during the after- noon of May 29 with the boy- friend of the complainant's flatmate.

While there, Betteridge gave the complainant a letter which he had written, claiming that "he liked her'' and "was always thinking about her''.

She made it clear nothing was going to happen between them as she already had a boyfriend.

Later that evening after the flatmate had gone to bed with her boyfriend, Betteridge entered the complainant's room.

The pair watched television be- fore she said she was going to sleep and he could not stay.

Shortly afterwards he raped her.

Mr Whalley said the risk of pregnancy was an aggravating factor.

Defence barrister Ross Lo Mo- naco said it was not a situation where his client had approached a stranger ? rather one of his desires for a young lady getting the better of him.

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