Yachtie, 76, guilty of drugging, rapes

A 76-year-old yachtsman has been found guilty of drugging and raping three woman aboard his vessel.
A 76-year-old yachtsman has been found guilty of drugging and raping three woman aboard his vessel.

IN THE end a jury did not believe yachtsman John Collins's claim that the encounters he had with three women aboard his vessel during the '80s and '90s was consensual.

They found he had lured them to his yacht, drugged them and raped them.

John Collins, 76, had pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court to nine offences including rape, sexual assault and drugging the three women on separate occasions between December 31, 1986, and January 1, 2000, while his yacht was moored at Bundaberg, Mooloolaba and the Gold Coast.

The jury of five men and seven women started their deliberations on Monday shortly after 11.15am and delivered their verdict yesterday afternoon.

Crown prosecutor David Nardone told the court at the start of the trial last week all three women, who cannot be named to protect their identities, did not know each other, but had extremely similar accounts of what happened to them when at a marina or while at sea.

He said Collins would place advertisements in newspapers seeking a nanny to help him look after and educate a young boy while his yacht sailed to exotic locations.

"In the case of each woman the tactics Collins used were very similar," he said.

"It is only the events at the centre of this trial that bring these three women together.

"The three, strangers to each other, all share a common experience and the cause of that experience is John Collins."

Judge Michael Shanahan ordered Collins to be taken into custody ahead of sentencing today.

Topics:  brisbane district court bundaberg

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