Torture flat ‘smelled of rotting flesh’

 

A former professional soccer player was fully aware of the heinous injuries a woman had suffered at the hands of his flatmate during a three-week torture ordeal, a court has been told.

Texts sent by Jeromy Lee Harris asking about getting supplies from the chemist, claiming his house smelled of rotting flesh and asking a vet nurse for advice on severe injuries were revealed in Brisbane District Court as Harris faced a sentencing hearing.

Harris and Nicholas John Crilley were housemates at the time when Crilley, 34, violently beat, raped and tortured the young woman over three weeks in June 2017.

The woman was beaten, raped and tortured to the brink of death by Crilley and was so maimed that paramedics initially thought she was dead when they discovered her.

Harris, 44, was not charged with inflicting the woman's injuries but crown prosecutor Sandra Cupina said there was no doubt he would have seen the extent of her wounds.

He pleaded guilty earlier this month to being an accessory after the fact to grievous bodily harm and three counts of supplying dangerous drugs.

Harris was due to be sentenced at Brisbane District Court on Thursday but proceedings were adjourned after Ms Cupina and Harris' defence lawyer, Tony Glynn, disputed parts of the facts concerning Harris' knowledge of the victim's injuries.

Jeromy Lee Harris arrives at Brisbane District Court on Thursday. He will be sentenced next week for accessory after the fact to grievous bodily harm and three counts of supplying Xanax. Picture: Peter Wallis
Jeromy Lee Harris arrives at Brisbane District Court on Thursday. He will be sentenced next week for accessory after the fact to grievous bodily harm and three counts of supplying Xanax. Picture: Peter Wallis

Judge Leanne Clare adjourned the matter to next Friday to decide on the contested facts and continued Harris' bail.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and her family stared down Harris in the court room.

Harris, a former National Soccer League winner with the Brisbane Strikers and Olympic Sharks, showed little emotion through the proceedings.

Harris, pictured during a 2002 game between the Olympic Sharks and South Melbourne, is a former National Soccer League winner. Picture: Supplied.
Harris, pictured during a 2002 game between the Olympic Sharks and South Melbourne, is a former National Soccer League winner. Picture: Supplied.

Crilley, 34, was jailed for life in April for his violent assault of the woman, which occurred at a Spring Hill motel and a Bulimba unit owned by Harris.

The court was previously told the woman was subjected to a violent ordeal where she was beaten and raped by Crilley, had boiling water and acetone poured over her body and was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver.

Harris admitted to supplying the drug Xanax to Crilley at the time he and the victim were at the unit.

Nicholas John Crilley.
Nicholas John Crilley.

Ms Cupina told the court on Thursday that Harris would have known of the woman's injuries as he sent texts to Crilley asking if he needed supplies from the chemist to "make it easier for her".

But Mr Glynn argued his client was unaware of the full extent of the woman's injuries and "never saw her" through the whole period.

Ms Cupina said Harris expressed concerns about the area being occupied by Crilley and his victim and had contacted a vet nurse about the woman's injuries.

"There is a text exchange where Crilley tells the defendant about the complainant sleeping," Ms Cupina said.

Ms Cupina said Harris texted a friend about the torture, saying his apartment smelled of "rotting flesh".

Originally published as Torture flat 'smelled of rotting flesh'


How Olympics could slip through our fingers

Premium Content How Olympics could slip through our fingers

“Our battle-worn state needs the job bonanza that would come."

‘Mini teachers’ recognised with national humanitarian award

Premium Content ‘Mini teachers’ recognised with national humanitarian award

Two students, dubbed ‘mini teachers’ have been acknowledged for their kind-hearted...