Topics:  not guilty, rape, warwick, warwick district court

Man 'not guilty' of sex abuse

A JURY has found a former Warwick man not guilty of raping the mother of his child, after the presiding judge directed them to do so.

The then 22-year-old woman claimed her 63-year-old former partner had raped her in October of last year, following a family member's funeral.

He cannot be named for legal reasons.

The man entered a not guilty plea, a jury was empanelled and the matter was ordered to proceed by trial in the Warwick District Court on Tuesday morning.

The alleged victim, who the court heard suffers from a "mild to moderate" mental impairment, was the first and only witness to address the court.

During his opening statement, Prosecutor Ken Spinaze told the court the couple had been embroiled in a violent two-year relationship, which even saw the man throw knives at the woman.

Mr Spinaze requested his client be shielded from her former partner when she testified, as she had shown a desire to jump over the witness box and "punch him in the face".

He said this came from a desire for her to "give him some of his own back".

The woman claimed he slapped and pushed her when she refused his sexual advances, which caused her to consent out of fear.

After the alleged victim testified this week, Judge Greg Koppenol directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.

Judges have the power to direct a jury to return a verdict if they believe one of the parties has failed to prove their case.

The jury returned a not guilty verdict and the man was allowed to go free from court.



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