'Improbable' that dad touched girl after seeking counselling

A DEFENCE lawyer has said it was "improbable" that a man who had asked for his daughter to receive sexual abuse counselling would then go on to assault the girl.

Barrister Phillip Moore argued that his client, a Mackay region man who can't be named for legal reasons, didn't touch his biological daughter's vagina on an occasion in 2012.

The 45-year-old man is on trial in the District Court for indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Mr Moore said the girl, who was raised in foster care and was only allowed unsupervised access with her parents for six months in 2012, had spent her whole life being given "implicitly" the message that her father couldn't be "trusted".

Mr Moore said in June 2012, the accused and his partner heard an allegation that in the previous year, the girl had been engaged in sexual activity with her brother while living at a foster home.

He said the couple had asked their solicitors to write letters to the Department of Child Safety, asking that the incident be investigated and that the girl be provided with counselling.

Mr Moore said it was in one of those "protective behaviour" sessions in 2013 that the girl first made the allegation against her father.

He suggested that the girl, who also alleged sexual abuse to her foster mother that year, may have been telling people "what they wanted to hear".

The barrister argued that the girl had been telling the truth during a trip to shopping centre Caneland Central, when she told her biological mother and partner of the accused that her father hadn't actually touched her inappropriately.

He said she may had made that "true" statement as she had not been under "pressure" and felt she could tell the truth.

Mr Moore said there had been inconsistencies in the girl's testimonies, between what was said to police, her foster mother and social worker.

In closing this morning, Crown prosecutor Russell Hood said the girl was a truthful and reliable witness.

He said inconsistencies in her evidence could be explained by the fact that "peripheral details can fade and become distorted with the passage of time".

Mr Hood said the girl may not have even recalled the alleged sexual incident with her brother, and even if she had, it had been a "completely different allegation".
 

Update, 6.17pm: The man has been found guilty of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

A jury of five women and seven men deliberated for about two hours before reaching a verdict just after 5.30pm today.

The man will be sentenced a later date.

He said that just because a child had been exposed to sexualised behaviour in the past, didn't mean they weren't a reliable witness.

Judge Brendan Butler summed up this afternoon. The jury is deliberating.


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