A man who raped a dog walker at night in a suburban Melbourne park will spend at least six years behind bars.
Tradie Tyler Skerry, 23, on Wednesday faced Judge Rosemary Carlin via video link at the Victorian County Court, where he was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison, with a non-parole period of six years.
He made an early guilty plea to digitally raping a woman, then aged 32, and stealing her phone at Mayer Park in Thornbury last October.
Judge Carlin said his actions would strike fear ‘in the hearts of women everywhere’.
‘Women should be able to walk at night without fear of being randomly attacked by a stranger,’ she said.
‘Rape is a serious offence. It is a deeply personal crime which at the very least involves the violation of a person’s body and autonomy.’
Skerry, then 22, pretended to have lost his wallet and asked the woman for help before turning a four-inch kitchen knife on her and pulling her to the ground where he digitally raped her.
The woman, the court heard, told Skerry ‘it’s going to f***ing hurt when I stab you,’ before she managed to take the weapon off him.
She then stabbed the Kensington man in the thigh, grabbed her dog and hailed a car from the road while still carrying the knife.
But she left her phone, bank card and driver’s licence behind.
Skerry sold the woman’s phone the following day before handing himself in at a police station.
Judge Carlin said while the woman was not exposed to the risk of being impregnated or exposed to an STI, the incident was only ended through her own ‘courage and tenacity’.
She said the rape had a ‘profound and long-lasting effect’ on the woman.
Skerry has already served 289 days behind bars, which Judge Carlin said would be deducted from his sentence.