Estimated reading time 2 minutes 2 Min

Rapist husband challenging jury verdicts

A Victorian husband convicted of raping his then-wife between 2011 and 2015 is challenging a jury's guilty verdicts, arguing a mistake by the trial judge.

September 30, 2022
By Karen Sweeney
30 September 2022

A former ambassador against domestic violence jailed for years of brutal abuse and rapes of his then-wife is challenging his convictions, claiming a mistake by the trial judge.

Jon Seccull was sentenced to 15 years behind bars for the years of offending against his former wife Michelle Skewes, who has given AAP permission to name her.

A White Ribbon ambassador, Seccull was found guilty by a jury of nine charges of rape, two of assault and one of threatening to cause serious injury between 2011 and 2015.

He continues to deny all wrongdoing and is challenging the jury’s verdicts in the Victorian Court of Appeal.

The jury found the former corrections officer made degrading sexual demands of his then wife and punished her even when she complied.

“I’m your husband and I can f***ing touch you whenever I f***in’ want. You are mine,” he once told her.

The Ballarat man’s cruelty and oppression of Ms Skewes was vile and sadistic, Judge Frank Gucciardo said in handing down the sentence.

But it’s remarks he made to the jury that Seccull’s barrister Paul Holdenson KC say should prompt three appeal judges to overturn the convictions.

Judge Gucciardo had directed the jury that they could use evidence in the case to understand the true nature of the relationship between Seccull and Ms Skewes.

At the same time, the prosecutors were contending that there was no consideration by Seccull of Ms Skewes’ feelings, wishes, wants or needs and that he was persistent in his pursuit of his own sexual gratification.

Mr Holdenson said the direction invited the jury to consider that it was Seccull’s propensity to commit the acts he was charged with.

He said the appeal judges could not be satisfied had the jury been properly directed that evidence about other misconduct was not to be used as tendency evidence, that Seccull would have been convicted.

“You can’t be satisfied of that,” he said.

The appeal is continuing.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

More in Top Stories