24 October 2022

Truckie who raped, robbed sex worker due to financial stress sentenced to more than four years' jail

| Albert McKnight
Court building

Craig Michael Emberton, 34, has been sentenced for robbing and raping a sex worker. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault.

A truck driver who robbed a sex worker because he was suffering from financial stress before raping her has been sentenced to almost four-and-a-half years’ jail.

According to sentencing remarks from ACT Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Kennett, Craig Michael Emberton booked an appointment with his victim and arranged to meet at her Canberra apartment on 25 March 2022.

But when he arrived that afternoon, he pulled out a knife and demanded money. She gave him $430.

He told her to take off her clothes, then raped her.

Before he left, he made her give him her phone and deleted her call log and message history.

Emberton has been in custody since he refused bail in April. He ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated robbery and destroying or concealing evidence.

Justice Kennett, who found the motivation for the offending to be financial stress, said it was clear from the sex worker’s victim impact statement that she had been concerned for her life.

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She also has depression, anxiety and embarrassment that culminated in her experiencing suicidal ideation.

“Following the offence, she considers that she was constantly in ‘flight mode’, scared to go outside and meet other people,” Justice Kennett said.

He said the robbery involved premeditation as Emberton had gone to the apartment armed, then almost immediately brandished the knife.

“As the offender admitted to police, he was in financial difficulty and his motivation for the offending was financial gain,” he said.

But he found the rape to be opportunistic, saying Emberton had gone to the apartment with the intention of robbing her.

“Because of the nature of their profession, which often places them alone with their clients undressed and in isolated places, sex workers are particularly vulnerable to offences of this kind,” Justice Kennett said of the rape charge.

“Sex workers are required to place a degree of trust in their clients in order to perform their services and this trust is easily abused.

“This is particularly so where, as in the present case, the sex worker does not have access to protective features such as a duress alarm or security personnel.”

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He also said offences of this kind were “invariably humiliating and degrading to a degree”.

Emberton, a father-of-two from Calwell, wrote a letter to the court apologising to his victim, expressing regret for his actions and saying he is endeavouring to become a better person.

Justice Kennett convicted him and sentenced him to a total of four years and five months’ jail, but a two-year and four-month non-parole period means he is eligible to be released from custody in August 2024.

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