Ports North executive Alan George Vico is on trial accused of raping a Norwegian exchange student in an Earlville motel in 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Ports North executive Alan George Vico is on trial accused of raping a Norwegian exchange student in an Earlville motel in 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

Top executive denies sex attack on backpacker

A TOP Cairns executive is fighting a charge he raped a young Norwegian backpacker in a motel room after picking her up drunk on the side of the road.

Alan George Vico, 54, a general manager for Ports North, has pleaded not guilty to collecting the 20-year-old tourist from the side of Sheridan St in Cairns North on September 20, 2018, driving her 6km to an Earville motel on Mulgrave Rd, sexually assaulting her then leaving.

The Cairns District Court heard yesterday the woman alleged she woke up alone and naked, having no idea where she was.

Mr Vico has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald told the court the woman was an exchange student living in Brisbane at the time and had travelled to Cairns for a brief holiday with two friends.

She said the trio had gone out drinking, but become separated.

"Her final memory of the night was being inside the Woolshed," she said.

"Her next memory is waking up in a motel room. She was naked, she didn't know where she was."

The court heard she allegedly found an empty condom packet, a $20 note and a motel room key beside the bed with her clothes scattered around the room.

She spoke to motel staff who called police.

It is alleged the room was booked under Mr Vico's name and CCTV footage captured them arriving at the motel just after midnight.

Ms Friedewald said police raided Mr Vico's home the following day and allegedly found three used condoms in the rubbish, which had traces of both their DNA.

She said Mr Vico booked the room via the after hours intercom after arriving at the motel and told the operator they would not need separate beds.

The court heard he gave an interview to police, telling them he "took care of" the heavily intoxicated woman for some time before leaving.

CCTV footage showed him leaving the motel just after 4am.

Ports North executive Alan George Vico is on trial accused of raping a Norwegian exchange student in an Earlville motel in 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Ports North executive Alan George Vico is on trial accused of raping a Norwegian exchange student in an Earlville motel in 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

 

Ms Friedewald told the court the woman had a blood-alcohol level of 0.102 per cent when tested by police about 7am and a medical expert would give evidence during the trial her reading would have been approximately 0.229 per cent when she left the Woolshed about 10.30pm.

The court heard evidence from both the woman's friends who said she had consumed several cans of strong cider while "pre-gaming" in their hostel room before the night out and continued drinking at another hostel party before they went into town.

Canadian tourist Jonathan Shankman told the court he attempted to reunite the woman with her friends after they became separated and it was clear she was heavily intoxicated.

He said he assisted her from the Woolshed when she was asked to leave by security and helped her walk to Gilligan's where her friends had gone.

But he told the court a security officer at Gilligan's intervened, believing he was trying to take advantage of her, and assisted her into a taxi.

The court was played footage from inside the taxi where she tried to give her Brisbane address, then asked the driver to drop her on the side of Sheridan St.

The trial continues today.

Originally published as Top Cairns executive denies sex attack on backpacker


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