Justin Nisbett at Southport Courthouse, Southport, on Tuesday. Picture: Jerad Williams
Justin Nisbett at Southport Courthouse, Southport, on Tuesday. Picture: Jerad Williams

‘Callous treatment’ of sexual assault victim

JUSTIN Nisbett tipped his head back in relief when he was found not guilty of raping a family friend after a house party.

Within seconds his demeanour had flipped.

Nisbett went pale and he stared ahead in shock when the jury proclaimed him guilty of sexually assaulting the same woman.

Seconds later he dropped his face into his hands, while his wife, Amy Nisbett, cried.

He spent his first night behind bars overnight after Judge David Kent sentenced him to two years prison to be suspended after Nisbett serves 12 months.

Justin Nisbett at Southport Courthouse, Southport, on Tuesday. Picture: Jerad Williams
Justin Nisbett at Southport Courthouse, Southport, on Tuesday. Picture: Jerad Williams

Nisbett is expected to make an appeal in the coming days after an outside document was found in jury notes.

The jury of eight women and four men took more than four hours of deliberations to determine their verdict after a two-and-a-half day trial in the Southport District Court.

In a terrifying moment in Nisbett's home, the woman woke to find Nisbett between her legs performing oral sex.

He continued to perform the act for 35 to 40 seconds after the woman woke.

He did not penetrate her during the act.

Justin Nisbett. Picture: Jerad Williams
Justin Nisbett. Picture: Jerad Williams

The woman had fallen asleep in Nisbett's lounge room after staying the night after a party.

Mr Kent said Nisbett, a father of two young children, had been callous towards the woman, particularly in a video recording he made minutes after the rape where the woman is asking for her keys.

"I do accept that you displayed a poor attitude towards the complainant in the video recording that you made on your phone in the early hours of the morning," he said.

Crown prosecutor Michael Mitchell said from the moment of the incident Nisbett's only concern was saving himself.

Mr Mitchell also summarised a victim impact statement which was provided to the court.

"She talks about being violated and she talks about the effect on her relationships that have occurred between the friendship group as a result of this," he said.

Defence lawyer Jamie Godbolt, instructed by McMillan Criminal Law, foreshadowed to the court an appeal would be made.

After the guilty verdict was reached, court officers found four copies of a document from the Queensland Law Manual in one of the juror's notes.

That document had not been provided to the jury by the court.

Under Queensland law, juries are only allowed to consider the evidence placed before them by the court and are instructed to ignore all outside influences.

"If this had been something that had been discovered during the course of the trial I would have been asking for a mistrial," Mr Godbolt said.

"To discover it now is unfortunate."

Nisbett wiped tears from his face as the sentenced concluded before being shepherded into custody.



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