WARNING: Confronting details
A man who heinously tortured and sexually assaulted a woman during a drug-fuelled bender has told a court he is convinced he can get Legal Aid funding to appeal his case.
Nicholas John Crilley was jailed for life in 2020 for what a court described as the “sadistic” torture of the woman in Brisbane in mid-2017.
During the 23-day ordeal, which occurred across a townhouse in Bulimba and a Brisbane hotel room, Crilley repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted the woman, poured boiling water and acetone over her body and forced her to perform bestiality.
The woman’s body was covered in burns, some wounds were infested with maggots and the left side of her face was missing all the skin when Crilley, a former banker, left her for dead.
Nicholas John Crilley is serving seven life sentences for the horrific torture of a woman. Picture: Supplied
Her injuries were so severe paramedics at first thought she was dead.
Three years after being locked up, Crilley appealed his sentence and conviction at Brisbane’s Court of Appeal on Thursday.
A lawyer acted on his behalf in the appeal against his sentence while Crilley, dressed in green prison garbs, announced he was representing himself in the appeal against his conviction.
He told the court he had initially been rejected for Legal Aid funding.
“I failed the merits test,” Crilley said over AVL.
“While preparing my case I’ve come across quite a bit of material that makes my argument quite stronger.”
Crilley told the court he had resent his application for funding.
He said he would be contesting “some of the charges” that originated from offences in the hotel room.
“I think I’ve got strong grounds to get funding for it (the appeal),” Crilley said.
Crilley was handed seven life sentences in 2020 after pleading guilty to a raft of charges, including torture, deprivation of liberty and rape.
The horrific offences started over the baseless belief the victim was involved in a drive-by shooting that targeted him.
Brisbane’s Court of Appeal was told Crilley had submitted a request for Legal Aid funding to appeal his case, but it had been previously rejected. Picture: NCA NewsWire / John Gass
After leaving the woman at the hotel room, he dialled triple-0 and fled.
Crilley was arrested following a wild chase through the suburbs where he stole several cars to evade police.
On Thursday, the court was told a further court date for the appeal could not be set down until Crilley’s funding issues were resolved.
When asked if he would conduct the appeal himself if funding was rejected, Crilley replied: “Yes.”
A further review will be conducted in three months.
“You’ve really got to put your skates on and do something about pushing your application with Legal Aid for the funding,” Court of Appeal president Debra Mullins told Crilley.
“It’s really to investigate whether you’ve got grounds to some part of your guilty pleas.”