Rapist Heath Lance Chatters sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment

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NOVEMBER 9 2017 – 7:00PM 

Rob Inglis

A Burnie man who robbed, kidnapped and raped a woman at knife-point has been sentenced to 10 years’ jail.

Heath Lance Chatters, 42, was charged with one count of rape, one count of armed robbery and two counts of assault.

Earlier this week, the Hobart Supreme Court heard that Chatters had dismissed his defence lawyer Greg Richardson and would now be representing himself.

He had been due for sentencing but Justice Michael Brett agreed to give him time to prepare to make a plea of mitigation.

On Tuesday, Chatters addressed the court, saying that a psychiatric report written about him was “inaccurate” and “not consistent”.

 Chatters told Justice Brett he had only been provided a pen and paper that day and so had not had a great deal of time to prepare a statement.

He claimed the “system” was “stonewalling” him.

One night in 2015, Chatters parked in the forecourt of a Devonport service station where the victim worked.

The victim was nearing the end of her night-shift and was in the process of closing up.

After the victim had locked the door to the premises, Chatters appeared at the entrance, requesting to come in.

The victim opened the door, only to find Chatters was brandishing a knife.

He then demanded the victim give him all the money she had.

Upon seizing the money, Chatters told the victim she had to get in his car or he would slit her throat.

Justice Michael Brett told the court that, during the journey, the victim pleaded with Chatters to let her go home, telling him she had children.

Chatters took the victim to a caravan park, where he made her go with him into a cabin.

He asked the victim to remove her clothing.

“I’m going to show you no control,” he told her, as he dragged her by her hair to the bedroom, where he raped her.

Police came to the victim’s aid, arresting Chatters.

“You f***ing b***h,” he told the victim as he was taken away.

Justice Brett said the victim had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the ordeal.

“It is difficult to imagine the sheer terror she must have felt during these events,” he said.

He told Chatters his attempts to change his guilty pleas had subjected the victim to cross-examination.

“I see no evidence of remorse,” Justice Brett said.

Chatters was sentenced to 10 years in jail, backdated to September 2015, and will not be eligible for parole until 2021.


Source :  The Advocate

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