A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the torture of his girlfriend, leaving her with injuries so severe that detectives thought she has been in an explosion.
A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the torture of his girlfriend, leaving her with injuries so severe that detectives thought she has been in an explosion.

Man pleads guilty to burning torture of girlfriend

A man has admitted torturing his girlfriend for a week by pouring methylated spirits on her and setting her alight, then stabbing her in the head with a screwdriver, pleading guilty to dozens of charges.

Nicholas John Crilley, 34, formerly of Bulimba, appeared in the District Court in Brisbane yesterday via video-link from prison, where he formally entered his guilty plea to 57 charges.

The charges include assault, torture and deprivation of liberty over the attack of his former girlfriend who was only 21 years old when she was tortured during a five-day stay in room 103 of the Tower Mill Metro hotel on Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill until June 29 2017.

She was found barely alive in Crilley's Bulimba townhouse on July 2 with injuries were so bad that the police's "initial investigative theory was the victim had been involved in an explosion", according to a court brief tendered during an earlier bail hearing for Crilley's flatmate and co-accused Jeremy Harris, 43, a mortgage broker, formerly of Bulimba.

Police who found her initially thought she was dead, until she moaned.

Harris used to live in Yeppoon.

Harris, who has been charged with six counts including torture, deprivation of liberty and acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm, also had his case mentioned yesterday in court.

He has not entered a plea and is due back in court on April 20.

After Crilley's arrest his associates told police Crilley had kept his ex-girlfriend "prisoner for days and had tortured her as he suspected the victim of sleeping with other men whilst he was in jail".

Court documents reveal the woman extensive burns to her body, a hole in the side of her head "most likely caused by a screwdriver or similar", a large cut to her head, facial wounds, chemical burns inside her throat, broken nose, broken eye socket, broken sternum, broken ribs and cheek and inflamed lungs.

The woman, who came to court yesterday, spent weeks in hospital including time in a critical condition in an induced coma with head-to-toe chemical burns.

She remains badly disfigured.

Transcripts of text messages in court documents show Crilley asked Harris - a former professional soccer player - to buy him " dressings" for an "open wound to the head".

Crilley gave Harris a long shopping list to buy including disinfectant and painkillers to treat "second degree burns" and an "open wound".

In one message Harris said one wound had a "bad odour when the brown stuff comes out".

The woman did not receive medical attention for her wounds, aside from Harris buying supplies at Chemist Warehouse in Woolloongabba, until an ambulance was called on July 2, 2017.

Harris also asked a Gold Coast Veterinary worker for help on how to treat the wounds, police allege.

Crilley is due to be sentenced via video link on April 21.

Originally published as Man pleads guilty to burning torture of girlfriend

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.



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