Rapist acquitted of knifepoint rape in van
A CONVICTED Gatton rapist has been acquitted of a brutal roadside attack on a woman inspecting a flat tyre on her car on a Toowoomba road late a night.
Martin Karl Gould was sentenced to an extra six years jail after he was found guilty of dragging a 49-year-old woman into a van, hitting her and raping her at knifepoint before pushing her back out with his foot.
But the Queensland Court of Appeal, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, quashed the convictions and ordered acquittal verdicts be entered.
Justice John Muir said the prosecution case was "inherently weak" and rested mostly on the woman's uncertain identification of Gould on the Drayton Connection Rd about 11pm on August 7, 2010.
He said it was possible the woman's comfit image and a photo board could have interferred with her original recollection.
"The evidence on the trial was not sufficiently cogent to justify a conviction," he said.
Gould has previously pleaded guilty to raping and torturing a prostitute in a Toowoomba motel in 2011 and convicted after trial of raping a woman he knew in her Gatton home in 2007.
But he has always maintained he was innocent of the 2010 rape.
"I hope you're never accused of something you never done," he yelled to jurors when they found him guilty in the Toowoomba District Court last year.
Justice Muir said there was no DNA evidence linking Gould to the 2010 rape, no evidence he had access to a van that night and, though possible, no proof he had driven from Gatton to Toowoomba that night.
"She had seen her assailant only very briefly at night aided by the illumination provided by her vehicle's parking lights and by a light from a torch she held directed at the ground," he said.
"She had not seen her assailant before the incident and was not called on to identify the appellant until more than nine months after the attack.
"In my opinion, the jury should have been warned that the identification by use of the photo board needed to be approached with particular caution as the composition of the photo board was capable of suggesting a particular identification.
"Moreover, there was a tendency ... of the mind to substitute a photographic image once seen for a hazy recollection of the person initially observed.
"In this case, it was possible that the comfit image would have supplanted or interfered with the complainant's originally recollected image."
- Gould pleaded guilty in March, 2013, to the rape, assault and torture of a prostitute in a Toowoomba motel on May 12, 2011. He tortured her for 90 minute with instruments he brought in a bag. Gould held an axe to the 38-year-old woman's face, tied her up with tape and twice injected her with a veterinary drug used for sedating animals. He then raped her and left her tied up and gagged in the motel room. He was sentenced to10 years jail and declared a serious violent offender, meaning he must serve 80% of that sentence.
- Gould was then found guilty of raping a 24-year-old woman he knew in her Gatton home in 2007. She came forward after police reports of the other two rapes became public. He got another five years jail.