Coffs Harbour rapists Silas Gordon Haines and Nathan Dungay sent to jail

TWO rapists who held a group of Asian students hostage on the NSW north coast and carried out a horrifying and depraved sexual assault on a woman have been sentenced to 25 and 20 years in jail.

Silas Gordon Haines, 31, and Nathan Dungay, 25, pleaded guilty to breaking into a townhouse in Coffs Harbour in November 2008 and sexually abusing one of the occupants, a 21-year-old Chinese woman.

The Sydney District Court today heard how Haines and Dungay, along with accomplice Grahame Quinlan, also assaulted two Vietnamese men, aged 19 and 26, after forcing their way into the house while armed with a knife and a broken bottle in the early hours of November 2.

He said it had a “considerable effect” on the young woman, who was a virgin prior to the attack and who feared for her life throughout the ordeal.  Haines, whom he sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment with a minimum 18-year trem, was the ringleader of the attack, Judge Charteris said.  The court heard Haines taunted his victim, telling her: “You’re international. I can give you Australian”.

“It is difficult to understand how you could treat (the victim) in such a disrespectful and inhumane fashion,” Judge Charteris told Haines.  “She was merely a sexual plaything for both of them.”  Dungay was sentenced to 20 years’ jail for his part in the attack, with a minimum 14-year term before being eligible for parole.

Quinlan, 35, last year was sentenced to eight years in jail.  The court heard the trio were at the height of a 12-hour alcohol and drug binge during the attack, after they injected themselves with the amphetamine drug ice.  The attackers eventually made off with cash, laptop computers and mobile phones.  The judge took into account the men’s guilty pleas, noting that they spared their victim “the additional stress and torment” of giving evidence.

He also took into account their Aboriginal background, troubled childhoods and history of drug abuse.  Both men have spent much of their lives in and out of jail.   However, their drug problems did not excuse their behaviour, nor explain it in any way, Judge Charteris said.

“She was a visitor to our country, far from her own family,” he said.

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