Appeal granted for Bundaberg sex offender
A CONVICTED Bundaberg sex offender has been granted an appeal in Australia's highest court after arguing his Queensland Court of Appeal judgment was "deeply flawed".
Shannon Robert Dunrobin was found guilty after a trial in Bundaberg District Court of five counts of rape and one assault.
Dunrobin was aged 29 and 30. The boy he was convicting of sexually assaulting was aged 17 and 18. The teen testified there were numerous episodes of oral and anal sex over 18 months.
He said he did not truly consent because Dunrobin obtained consent through force, threats, intimidation, fear and exercising authority over him.
Dunrobin - who has a history of offending with boys aged 8 to 12 - appealed the convictions in the Court of Appeal but was refused.
The case came before the High Court via video link between Canberra and Brisbane.
Barrister Peter Callaghan, acting for Dunrobin, said the Court of Appeal judgment was so flawed that it could not "escape the attention of this court".
He said the Crown had now conceded one count of rape could not stand and there was an error on another rape count.
Mr Callaghan said his client had been sentenced to 14 years' jail for a prosecution case where the weight given to various counts was "deeply flawed". He said the whole well was now "poisoned".
"It is not in the interests of justice that such perversity be allowed to endure."
Barrister Michael Byrne, for the Crown, said it was an error properly attributed to an oversight and did not "irretrievably taint the whole of the judgment".
He said it was "extraordinary" that the fact there was no evidence of penetration to support the now-void count escaped two trial counsel, a trial judge, two appellate counsel and the Court of Appeal justices.
Justice Ken Hayne said the Court of Appeal had not properly undertaken the inquiry necessary for determining Dunrobin's appeal to that court.
He quashed one of the rape convictions, entered an acquittal and also granted special leave to appeal the other four charges which he remitted the case back to Queensland's Court of Appeal for further consideration.