Yachtsman's defence says rape allegations made out of regret

A JURY has been asked to consider whether three women had dreamed of a wealthy lifestyle on the high seas and made rape allegations only when their choice to have sex with a yachtsman turned to regret.

Defence barrister Carl Heaton told the jury his client John Collins - who has always maintained his sexual conduct was consensual - had a "penchant for the younger woman".

He said while that might seem "against all odds" when assessing the evidence against the now 75-year-old, witnesses had described Mr Collins as popular, friendly, gregarious and a gentleman in the 1980s and 1990s when the rapes allegedly occurred.

"There's no doubt Mr Collins had the opportunity to do what's alleged against him," he said.

"He certainly seems to have had the company of what seems to be more than his fair share of young women throughout the course of his life.

"It's not inconceivable that Mr Collins had charms that were attractive to other people.

"Some of those charms might have been his apparent wealth.

"Is it just possible that these three young women may have got caught up in the potential for a life of comfort?

"An adventure on the high seas, visiting interesting places, a carefree lifestyle that is otherwise reserved only for the rich and here it was being presented to them.

"Perhaps they made choices in the moment that they later regretted.

"Perhaps they regretted giving themselves away so freely to a man who's charming feature may have been limited to his apparent wealth and the opportunity they thought they might have with him

"Maybe on reflection the reality didn't live up to the talk

"Maybe these women felt they were sold false hopes and maybe bitterness and resentfulness has set in."

Mr Collins has pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court to nine offences including rape, sexual assault and drugging the three women on separate occasions in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Crown has argued the striking similarities between each woman's separate account - being lured onto Mr Collins' yacht with the promise of work before drugging and raping them - made their evidence compelling and plausible.

Mr Heaton said their accounts did not "add up".

"It does not make sense that each of these women, having been raped with some degree of violence employed in order to achieve that, would remain in his company," he said.

"It just doesn't make sense that each of these women, having been raped, would hang out, wouldn't take the opportunity that was clearly presented to them to make good their escape."

Mr Heaton asked the jury to check if witnesses and their stories were plausible, consistent, reliable, logical and there was sufficient detail.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Monday.

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