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Man serving 7 life terms for rapes, torture to appeal

When paramedics found her, the woman was so severely injured they thought she was dead.

Over 23 days, Nicholas John Crilley had raped and tortured her.

Three years after he received seven life terms for his drug induced violence, Crilley is pursuing appeals of his sentence and conviction.

Crilley appeared via video link at Brisbane's Court of Appeal on Thursday.

He represented himself for his conviction appeal.

Solicitor Chelsea Waters appeared on behalf of Crilley for his sentence appeal.

Crilley said he would pursue a conviction appeal for "only some of the charges".

In 2020 Crilley pleaded guilty to 62 offences including grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, torture and 18 counts of rape.

Crilley's "callous and cruel" treatment of the woman - aged 22 at the time - in Brisbane in June 2017 left her permanently disfigured.

Court of Appeal President, Justice Debra Mullins, said on Thursday Crilley faced a "difficult hurdle" in his conviction appeal.

She told him to succeed he would have to establish there was a miscarriage of justice when the court accepted his guilty pleas.

"That's quite a difficult hurdle to overcome. It's not impossible," she said.

"I am sure around prison they do talk about that every now and then somebody succeeds in an appeal against a conviction where there was a guilty plea.

"But quite frankly there has to be exceptional circumstances."

Crilley said he had re-applied for Legal Aid funding for the conviction appeal after initially failing the merits test.

"While preparing my case I've come across quite a bit of material that makes my argument much stronger," Crilley said.

"I think I have strong grounds to get funding for it."

Crilley said he would represent himself if his Legal Aid bid failed.

Justice Mullins told Ms Waters that pursuing a sentence leave application would have to be put on ice until Crilley's Legal Aid funding issue was sorted out.

A review will be held 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," Justice Mullins told Crilley.

"It's really to investigate whether you've got grounds to some part of your guilty pleas."

Crilley's victim suffered multiple broken bones, internal injuries, deep lacerations and burns to 46 per cent of her body during the 2017 assault.

Crilley was taken into custody following a dramatic police chase involving several stolen cars.

It ended a month-long methylamphetamine-induced delusional state that triggered false beliefs and much of the violence.

Crilley received five life sentences for the rape offences and two life sentences for malicious act with intent - all to be served concurrently - by Brisbane District Court's Judge Anthony Rafter in May 2020.