A Sydney man will be sentenced to gaol after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a 92-year-old woman.

Craig Anthony Wheatman broke into a house in Sydney's inner-west, in the early hours of 23 January 2021.

Most details of the offending are too graphic to publish.

Wheatman's criminal lawyers accepted that a sentence of full-time imprisonment was inevitable.

Sexual Assault Charges in Sydney

Craig Wheatman pleaded guilty to a range of sexual assault charges in Sydney. These included aggravated sexual assault, aggravated break and enter, sexual touching and two counts of common assault.

During sentencing proceedings at Sydney District Court, a statement of agreed facts were tendered. This set out details of the elderly woman's ordeal.

The 92-year-old woman was threatened with pruning shears and slapped before the sexual assault.

She was then forced her into the shower. Wheatman poured oil, vinegar and Dettol over her in an apparent attempt to cover up his crime.

The offender stole her wallet and two sets of keys before the victim's son and police arrived when a medical alarm pendant alerted them that she was in distress.

Police were able to locate Craig Wheatman and arrested him. When they questioned him, he said he did not remember what happened in the house as he was in a "drunk stupor".

However, he admitted that he had a "gut feeling" he'd done something "horrid". He also told police he heard voices in his head.

During his interview with police, he said that wanted to leave the property because "whatever ordeal had happened, she deserved for it to be over".

Sexual Assault Sentencing

Craig Wheatman appeared by video link from prison during the sentencing hearing for the Sydney sexual assault charges.

"There is no way in hell I would do something like that," Wheatman said of the sexual assault allegations.

The court heard that the 29-year-old said he has "bashed" fellow inmates in jail for doing similar things.

"There is no way in hell, no way . I'm sickened by this. I hope it wasn't me."

He also recalled seeing the woman's injuries, including a split to her cheek.

"Is she all right? I worry that someone of that age is not going to be OK."

The elderly victim was discharged from hospital a few days after the attack. At the time police labelled her "strong willed" and said they were "positive" about her recovery.

Craig Wheatman Background

Craig Wheatman's criminal lawyer told the court that the 29-year-old had voiced a "desire to constructively engage" in a number of therapeutic programs.

The court heard that Wheatman had been squatting for about two months and had experienced a psychotic episode in the months prior to the incident. While he was prescribed medication, he hadn't taken it for about a week.

Judge Donna Woodburne was told that he had a difficult upbringing and had experienced "displacement" in his teenage years which led to a feeling of "abandonment". This can sometimes allow a reduced sentence based on the Bugmy principle, which comes from the decision of R v Bugmy (2013) HCA 37.

The offender's Sydney sexual assault lawyers accepted that a "lengthy" jail sentence was inevitable.

Sydney Sexual Assault Lawyers

The definition of sexual assault is engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. It is contained in Section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for sexual assault 14 years Imprisonment. There is also a Standard Non-Parole Period which is 7 years imprisonment.

Despite this there have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. Having the best sexual assault lawyers in Sydney will go a long way towards beating these charges. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

The definition of sexual assault is engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. It is contained in Section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

Sexual assault allegations are far more common today than at any time in the past. Community attitudes have changed shifted, in large part due to the #metoo movement. Unsurprisingly, this has made fighting such allegations more difficult than ever before.

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