Australian town 'ripped apart' by men's rape of friend - report

A tiny Australian town has reportedly been "ripped apart" after a woman was raped by two of her male friends. 

Shaun Bloomfield and Luke Merryfull, both now 24, were jailed for the 2016 rape on Wednesday (local time). 

A community member told the impact on the small Victorian town of Balmoral, with a population of less than 200, has been immense.

"The whole matter has ripped apart the community of a beautiful, sleepy little hollow where generations of families have lived," the anonymous woman said.

She said while the rapists were well-known in the town, the victim's family "came here with no family connections".

"In a small community like this there is a huge bias, which has resulted in some people taking sides with Bloomfield and Merryfull."

The rape took place in a caravan outside a 21st birthday party where the victim had gone to sleep. 

The two men climbed into bed with the sleeping woman at 3am, wedged her between them and proposed having a threesome. She repeatedly said 'no, no way' and tried to wrap herself in a blanket to protect herself, the court heard.

But the men then took turns raping their friend. The Age reports that as Merryfull got up to leave, he said to Bloomfield: "She's all yours now."

Victoria County Court Judge Gerard Mullaly said the victim's family has been left feeling ostracised by Bloomfield and Merryfull's supporters in the town, many of whom packed out the court throughout the trial.

The victim has now left Balmoral and is undergoing counselling for the rape. She is scared of ever returning to the town.

Bloomfield has been deemed a serious sex offender, and will be jailed for five years and eight months, and will serve a minimum of three years and four months.

Merryfull was jailed for four years and 10 months, and will serve a minimum of two years and 10 months.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: