A man found guilty of breaking into a Parkside home and raping a woman in her bed has apologised, reading a letter to his victim in the District Court.

Key points:

  • The District Court heard Benfell watched his victim fall asleep before he raped her
  • He apologised for his crime, saying he did not deserve the woman’s forgiveness
  • Benfell’s defence lawyer said he believed the apology was genuine

Michael Paul Benfell, 26, walked into the house through an unlocked back door before getting into bed with the sleeping woman in April 2018.

The District Court today heard Benfell had waited in a different bedroom, where he left shoes, and watched until his victim fell asleep before attacking her.

Prosecutor Jemma Litster said he had waited in a vacant front bedroom for a period of time.

“He waited until she had fallen asleep,” she said.

She said that by the time Benfell had entered the house he had formed the intention to rape her, that it was not spontaneous and that there was some force involved.

Last year, Benfell was found guilty of two counts of rape and one count of aggravated serious criminal trespass.

Michael Paul Benfell (middle) will be sentenced next month.(ABC News)

In his apology letter, Benfell said that he would not appeal the guilty conviction for the sake of everyone involved.

“I’m sorry for lying, I’m sorry for trying to act like I’d done nothing wrong and I’m sorry for my behaviour,” Benfell told the court today.

“I have to live the rest of my life knowing that I’m a rapist, saying this makes me sick to my stomach.”

He broke down while reading his statement, and said his denial had turned into remorse.

“More importantly, I’d like to apologise for the pain and hardship I’ve caused. There’s no amount of apologising that I can do to fix the damage that I’ve done,” he said.

Benfell’s defence lawyer Adam Richards said his client had admitted to the offence after he heard the victim impact statements.

“I understand it was those that he found very, very distressing to listen to and to hear, and that lead him to wish to make an apology,” Mr Richards said.

Rapist was on parole at time of attack

The District Court heard Benfell was on parole for serious criminal trespass offences, and was meant to be attending a parole office on the day before the attack.

The court heard he had been on a “methamphetamine bender” and had been drinking at the time.

Prosecutor Jemma Litster told the court he should serve most of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Outside court, Benfell’s defence lawyer said he believes Benfell’s apology is genuine and wasn’t to do with getting a more lenient sentence.

“He wasn’t asking for an excuse, he wasn’t asking to be forgiven he was asking to convey his apology and I think it was heartfelt,” Mr Richards said.

He said the fact that Benfell was considered a serious repeat offender and on parole when he committed the offence would see him be punished appropriately.

Benfell will be sentenced in March.