Man not guilty of raping co-worker

A BUNDABERG District Court jury found a Bundaberg man not guilty of raping his co-worker in the back of a van on a farm in 2008.

The 45-year-old man was charged with the sex offence after his co-worker told another worker she had been raped in the van during a smoko break on November 8.

Defence counsel Julie Sharp told the court during her final legal argument that in the days leading up to the pair having sex in amongst some avocado trees on a farm, the woman had confided in the man about her violent husband.

Ms Sharp also said the pair had kissed in the days leading up to the incident, but the woman had denied it.

The court was told there were only cuts on the woman’s upper arm, despite the woman saying the man grabbed her wrists and “reefed” her arm back.

“The linear abrasions on the upper arm were consistent with her work on the farm,” Ms Sharp said.

But crown prosecutor Alex Stark said the woman immediately told a co-worker she was raped after she got back to the machine she was working on after smoko.

“She has come in (to court) and told you she was raped, as she has consistently said since coming back to the machine after smoko,” Mr Stark said.

The jury took less than an hour to decide the not guilty verdict.

The accused man left the prisoner dock and fell into the arms of sobbing relatives after the jury delivered its decision.



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