Bradley John Payne, 25, will spend the remainder of his 20s behind bars for raping a friend who fell asleep during a gathering at his home.
Bradley John Payne, 25, will spend the remainder of his 20s behind bars for raping a friend who fell asleep during a gathering at his home. Contributed

Man who 'protects women' raped sleeping friend

AN ASPIRING paramedic described as a man who "helped and protected women" wept to learn he would spend the remainder of his 20s behind bars, convicted of raping a friend as she slept.

Bradley John Payne's mother clutched a tissue, her hand pressed at the glass behind her son as the Maroochydore District Court heard the details of the "opportunistic" crime.

It occurred during a gathering at Payne and his former girlfriend's home.

The court heard everyone was drinking and had begun to go to bed about 4am when the victim had fell into a deep sleep on the couch.

A witness described the woman as a "dead weight" in Payne's arms as the then 22-year-old carried her to the bed he shared with his girlfriend, who was already asleep.

He briefly laid in a nearby bed, before he pulled the woman's pants down and had intercourse with her. She awoke to Payne's hands on her genitals.

Judge Glen Cash QC said the woman had not given consent and her victim impact statement, tendered but not read to the court, told of the "trauma" she suffered and continued to suffer.

Payne ejaculated, then retired to the other bed, and denied any sexual activity the next day. Payne, now 25, continued to deny the allegations throughout the District Court trial, and suggested the woman had "made up her complaint".

He gave evidence that he had sex with her the week before, and she became upset when he would not break up with his girlfriend.

The jury rejected this, and found Bradley guilty of the rape in November 2016.

Character references from Payne's mother, stepfather and family friends described their shock at the charge.

Payne was a "bright student" of the Eumundi State Primary School, James Nash State High School and after he graduated from St Joseph's Nudgee College with a "great OP", he was offered to study paramedics at James Cook University.

Payne's mother wrote he would leave campus at 4am, four days a week to feed the homeless, and he had continued to help them until Tuesday of this week. She said her son was the type of man who would "step up and protect women", help girls who are unwell, and pay for their Uber or taxi home.

"He will not do well in the prison system," she said.

She thanked the Judge for considering her reference, which she said she wrote as a mother and a victim of rape herself. The court heard Payne had no criminal history prior to this charge, but had been fined $150 for breaching bail granted on this offence.

Judge Cash said Payne's actions had "damaged" his victim, her family, his own family, and damaged himself.

"And will continue to do so no doubt until the years progress," he said.

"It's regrettable that a young person like you goes to jail."

Payne and his mother shared a teary embrace before he was escorted from the dock to serve six years' imprisonment.