Friend 'saw' sex assault accused touching woman

Sheran Fernando. Photo Contributed
Sheran Fernando. Photo Contributed Contributed

A TOOWOOMBA real estate identity accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a young mother has taken the witness stand in his trial to refute all allegations.

Sheran Fernando, 37, told Toowoomba District Court he had met the woman through her best friend but claimed he had never held any sexual attraction for her nor had he made any sexual advances toward her.

The complainant's friend, 21, who is not named to protect the identity of the complainant, told the court her friend had burst into tears before describing an incident in which she claimed Fernando had locked her in a room of a vacant residence he had access to through his real estate work and forced himself on her.

Her friend claimed the accused had said "come on baby, come on baby" and had tried to get her to look at his genitals, she told the court.

She said she believed her friend had told her she had eventually been able to push him away and had got out through the door.

The witness told the court that about a month prior to that alleged incident, Fernando had taken her and the complainant woman to a real estate awards night in Brisbane which she believed was the second time the pair had met.

She said on the way to Brisbane, Fernando had told them "what happens on the trip, stays on the trip" and that he had told them both to be quiet when he received a phone call to his car from his wife.

She said that night Fernando had been whispering into her friend's ear at the dinner and later, at two nightclubs the group had visited, he had touched her on the bottom two or three times and had poked her breasts, saying "they're getting bigger".

She said her friend had been breast feeding at that time.

However, Fernando denied all allegations and told the court his wife had actually booked him and the two women into separate rooms at their Brisbane hotel the night of the awards.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape arising from allegations dating to August and September 2014.

The trial before Judge Deborah Richards continues.

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