Rapist loses bid to overturn conviction

AN elderly man who was convicted of raping a woman on his yacht in the 1980s at the Sunshine Coast has lost his appeal in Queensland's highest court.

In June last year John Collins, now 77, was found guilty of raping a 17-year-old woman on his yacht at Kawana in the 1980s.

He was sentenced to a year in jail on top of an 11-year sentence he was already serving.

Collins met the woman in a cafe and offered her work at a motel he owned.

Two days later, they met again on his yacht and Collins raped her.

Collins denies raping the woman.

At the Queensland Court of Appeal, Collins claimed the guilty verdict was unreasonable and that the evidence did not support it.

A judgment from Justice Robert Gotterson said part of Collins's submissions on his appeal were about evidence that was not presented at trial. Justice Gotterson said this was not relevant.

Mr Collins also said in his appeal that the woman did not produce any evidence and he asked the Court of Appeal to dismiss the case because it was "stale".

He also said if he had been accused in the 1980s, he would have been able call witnesses who were now dead.

But Justice Gotterson said the woman's account was not eroded in cross-examination during the trial and that the jury was given comprehensive directions regarding the woman's evidence.

"In the circumstances, the verdict was neither not supported having regard to the evidence, nor unreasonable," he said.

Justice Gotterson said the jury was entitled to accept the woman's account and he dismissed Collins's appeal. - ARM NEWSDESK


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