Disgraced yachtsman John Collins, now more than 78 years old, at a previous court appearance.
Disgraced yachtsman John Collins, now more than 78 years old, at a previous court appearance. File

No escape: Yacht predator stupefied women

A YACHTSMAN raped three women he lured with job advertisements for nannies.

John Collins has had his jail term reduced slightly but convictions upheld for raping women in the 1980s and 1990s.

The attacks happened in places including Bundaberg and the coast off Mooloolaba.

A new Queensland Court of Appeal judgment said several women "spent time on the yacht and had difficulty escaping”.

After a 2014 Brisbane District Court trial, Collins was sentenced to seven years and eight months' jail for crimes including rape.

Collins appealed, saying the women were liars and their evidence was nonsensical.

He alleged possible collusion involving the women and their families.

The appeal court's Justice Philip Morrison said each woman testified to responding to ads Collins placed for onboard nannies.

Justice Morrison said these ads were responded to between 1987 and 1999.

The women said they drank booze Collins provided, quickly felt dizzy, and woke to find him sexually assaulting them.

"The aftermath of the assaults was different ... except that each of them spent time on the yacht and had difficulty escaping,” Justice Morrison said.

One woman gave evidence she felt dizzy and "drugged” after two wine glasses, then was raped.

She said other people then came to visit the yacht and Collins introduced her to them as his "girlfriend”.

She and Collins later had a brief relationship but she told at least three other people Collins raped her.

A second woman said Collins drugged and raped her on the yacht at Bundaberg.

She said Collins also said "she had to clean the cabin naked”.

A third woman said Collins poured her champagne with Midori, she soon felt "just instantly drunk” and was raped.

"I couldn't get my head around what had happened,” she testified.

Collins claimed the sex was consensual but his appeal against conviction was dismissed.

Yet the Crown accepted the district court made an error involving Collins's 34 months of pre-sentence custody.

After calculations balancing that custody with a serious violent offence declaration, the appeal against sentence was allowed.

Collins's sentence was cut by eight months to exactly seven years. -NewsRegional



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