John Collins, yachtsman rapist, has lost another appeal.
John Collins, yachtsman rapist, has lost another appeal. Glenn Barnes

Yacht nanny rapist loses appeal

A YACHTSMAN who raped women after luring them to work on his boat has lost a bid to have Australia's top court set him free.

John Collins, now 80, sailed along the coast, including at Bundaberg, Mooloolaba, the Whitsundays and Southport, in the 1980s and '90s.

He raped three women he lured with job advertisements for nannies.

Several women "spent time on the yacht and had difficulty escaping", a Queensland Court of Appeal judgment said in October last year.

The appeal court reduced his prison term slightly but upheld convictions on nine charges, including five rapes.

Collins still tried to take his case further.

But this week the High Court of Australia scuppered the rapist's plans.

The sexual predator identified "no question of principle which it would be in the interests of justice" for the court to consider, the High Court said in a new special leave disposition.

"An appeal to this Court would not enjoy sufficient prospects of success to warrant a grant of special leave," justices Michelle Gordon and Geoffrey Nettle said.

The application was dismissed.

Apart from rape, Collins was convicted of sexual assault and of administering a stupefying drug with intent to commit an indictable offence.

After a 2014 Brisbane District Court trial, he was sentenced to seven years and eight months' jail.

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

Each woman said she responded to ads Collins placed for on-board nannies.

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

Another attack happened on the coast off Mooloolaba.

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

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

After calculations balancing that custody with a serious violent offence declaration, the appeal court cut Collins's sentence by eight months.

- NewsRegional

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