A woman sadistically tortured so badly an apartment smelled like ‘rotting flesh’ had a message in court for the housemate who turned a blind eye.
A former professional soccer player has been lashed in court as “self-serving” and “careless of life” by a woman who was brutally tortured by his flatmate.
Jeromy Lee Harris was on Thursday sentenced to three years’ jail for his role in the heinous incident, which occurred in his Bulimba unit between May and June 2017.
The 44-year-old kept his head down through proceedings before being jailed by Judge Leanne Clare.
Harris pleaded guilty in October to being an accessory after the fact to grievous bodily harm and supplying dangerous drugs to his flatmate, Nicholas John Crilley.
At the time, Crilley was viciously assaulting the woman, pouring acetone and boiling water over her body at Harris’s unit.
Crilley committed more atrocities at a separate apartment in Spring Hill.
Harris was not charged with inflicting the woman’s injuries but admitted to supplying Xanax to Crilley during the ordeal.
Reading from part of her victim impact statement, the woman said Harris’s selfish mindset and drug use came before her life.
“There was many times that something could have been done by making an anonymous tip to emergency services,” the woman told the court.
The woman said her removal from the unit prior to a real estate inspection was the time to alert someone about what Crilley was doing.
“But nothing was more important than helping out your friend who would have pushed you under the bus anyway,” she said.
“Alongside all the opportunities there were to help me, there was no attempt after I was found to help police or in the situation I didn’t make it, bring Crilley to justice.
“Both of you were more self-serving and careless of life than anyone I have ever met.”
Crown prosecutor Sandra Cupina said Harris was staying in the Bulimba unit’s upstairs bedroom but would have known of the extent of Crilley’s violence in the downstairs area.
Texts on his phone revealed offers to get supplies from the chemist to help the woman and him complaining to a friend that his house smelled of rotting flesh.
The court was told the most serious aspect of Harris’ involvement was making sure Crilley and the woman were not seen by anyone else.
To avoid detection during a real estate inspection, Harris ensured the pair were out of the home while he cleaned it.
Judge Clare said some of what he cleaned was connected with Crilley’s violence.
“You not only helped Crilley avoid police, but enabled him to keep the woman from the expert medical care she needed until Crilley summoned paramedics,” Judge Clare said.
The court was told in messages between Crilley and Harris, Crilley considered the woman was too far gone and was contemplating murder.
When emergency services eventually discovered the woman, they initially thought she was dead.
Crilley was jailed for life earlier this year for torturing the woman.
On Thursday, Harris’ defence lawyer Tony Glynn QC argued Harris’ actions were at the lower end of this type of offending.
He said his client was frequently away from his house, tendering documents including Harris’ outlook calendar and office call records showing his movements.
The court was told the remorseful Rockhampton man had problems with drugs for years and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.
Mr Glynn said his client had been adversely affected because of the recent media attention and had suffered financially.
Judge Leanne Clare sentenced Harris to three years’ jail, calling his inaction cowardly and weak.
He will be released on parole in July next year.
“You must live with the knowledge you did not rescue this girl,” she told Harris.
Court proceedings were dragged out over the past two months as legal practitioners disputed facts in the case, including Harris’ knowledge of the woman’s injuries and the date range of the offences.
At one point, an exasperated Judge Clare branded the case as “shambles”.