Jury delivers not guilty verdict in rape trial

IT TOOK a jury less than two hours to find a 21-year-old man not guilty of raping a teenager while she slept.

The week-and-a-half long trial finished in Warwick District Court on Wednesday, with a jury of four women and eight men finding Jackson Peter Fairbairn not guilty of rape.

The Alice Creek man was accused of violating a 17-year-old woman while she slept in a swag at a birthday party near Warwick in 2015, when he was aged 19.

However, Mr Fairbairn's defence barrister Scott Lynch said the young woman spent most of the night with his client and willingly got into the swag with him.

The defence case was founded on the testimonies of a number of witnesses who recalled seeing the pair "cuddling" inside the swag.

Mr Lynch also argued Mr Fairbairn was on the seam-side of the swag, with the alleged victim near the zip, inferring she had entered second. However, when the 21-year-old accused took the stand he recalled assuming they had sex but "not remembering".

Crown prosecutor Nicholas McGhee said it was the Crown's case the woman was sleeping in Mr Fairbairn's swag and woke to him pinning her down by her neck and raping her.

He denied the claim.

During his opening argument last week, Mr McGhee told the jury the young woman had forgotten to take her swag to the party, and Mr Fairbairn allegedly offered her his, saying he would sleep in his ute.

The defence called a number of witnesses who attended the party, including parents and friends of Mr Fairbairn.

The young woman also took the stand on the first day of the trial, speaking to a closed court with a screen between herself and Mr Fairbairn.

On the second-last day of the trial, Mr Fairbairn took the stand in his own trial to deny the allegations. He said he and the young woman had sex at the party, but he could not remember.

He said the next morning he woke wearing "his jocks and no shirt" with the woman lying next to him.

He said he then left the swag to vomit and returned to find her gone.

Despite later sending the young woman texts in which he apologised, Mr Fairbairn said he was hungover and did not know for what he was apologising.

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