News

Police questioning of sexual abuse victim under scrutiny

THE way Rockhampton police questioned a little girl who had been orally raped came under fire in the Court of Appeal on Friday.

The 56-year-old man is appealing his rape conviction, arguing the verdict was unsafe or unreasonable and questioning whether the four-year-old girl was capable of giving quality evidence.

Barrister Paul Smith, acting for the man, told the Court of Appeal he believed a judge examining the latter should have given more attention to whether the girl understood how important it was to tell the truth under oath in a court.

He also focused on the girl's recorded police interview and the way police questioned her.

Court of Appeal Justice Cate Holmes said the girl did give the impression the incident was "not such an appalling event for her", that it was the adults who made it a "big deal for her".

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta agreed and said the police questioning the girl for almost an hour, in the way they did, was far too long.

But he said a jury could easily be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt the rape occurred.

"You can see the frustration in the police and in the complainant when she is being questioned (in the police interview)," he said.

"It's almost as if the answers she gives are not good enough.

"The eyes get wider and the mouth changes shape, eyes flitting around the place.

"It didn't distress her.

"The way she told her parents was matter of fact, her lips being sore and this is what pa did."

The man is accused of raping the girl in South Rockhampton on September 29, 2009.

He was sentenced to three years and six months jail, with parole eligibility in August 2013, after a trial.

Justice Holmes said she was concerned about the girl undergoing any further questioning in the court and having to bring the incident to her mind again.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.

Topics:  court of appeal, crime, police, rockhampton, sexual abuse



How to find out what's on the council's agenda

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

Special council meeting to be held in Yamanto

Joy and Trevor get kicks on Route 66

The most photographed red Corvette in the US is parked out the front of the Hackberry General Store in Arizona.

Corvette C1 memorabilia everywhere on a journey through the past

QT readers divided over animal circus debate

BIG CAT: Mohammed Jratlou and Kiara at the Lennon Brothers Circus.

Do you think using exotic animals for entertainment is cruel?

Local Partners

Little Theatre playing big shows

Robyn Harm appears in the ILT production Cruise Missile

Ipswich Little Theatre presents the Deckchairs series

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

Disney to remake 'The Lion King', and it's live-action

The Lion King is coming back to movie theatres

And this time it's going to be live-action.

Emerge: Find out which raw Ipswich talent we've unearthed

TALENT: Ella Metherell is this week's featured artist in our Emerge series. Click on the QR codes below to hear her song and interview.

Ella Metherell unleashes her Evil Child this week

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released