Convicted rapist badly bashed in jail
A ONCE high-flying Cairns executive jailed for raping a backpacker in a motel room has been hospitalised after being severely bashed in jail.
Alan George Vico, 54, a former executive at Ports North on almost $290,000 a year, was handed a 5.5-year sentence in the Cairns District Court in August for the "predatory" rape of a young Norwegian backpacker who he picked up drunk on the side of the road.
Vico has been serving his sentence at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre where it is understood he was attacked and seriously assaulted by a fellow inmate on September 17.
It is understood Vico suffered multiple facial fractures and required surgery.
A Queensland Corrective Services spokesman confirmed the matter was under investigation.
"QCS (Queensland Corrective Services) can confirm a prisoner in his 50s was transferred to hospital on September 17 after being assaulted by another prisoner," he said.
"He is being treated for facial injuries and remains in hospital.
"The matter will be reviewed by CSIU (Corrective Services Investigation Unit)."
The incident comes as Vico launches an appeal against both his conviction and sentence.
He is appealing the conviction on the grounds it was "not supported by the evidence" and the sentence which he argued was "manifestly excessive".
His case was heard in a judge-only trial during the COVID lockdown in June, when juries could not be used.
Judge Julie Dick reserved her decision for more than two months before finding him guilty in late August.
She ordered he serve half of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
During the trial it emerged Vico was driving home along Sheridan St on September 20, 2018, when he spotted the woman at Cairns North, performed a U-turn and came back to collect her.
He told police he was trying to "help" the heavily intoxicated 20-year-old, but drove her to an Earlville motel where Judge Dick found he raped her.
The woman, who cannot be identified, was studying in Australia at the time and was in Cairns for a short holiday.
She woke up alone and naked with no idea where she was, then found an empty condom packet, a $20 note and a motel room key beside the bed with her clothes scattered around.
Vico removed condoms from the motel room which were later found by police in his bin at home with both their DNA.
In her decision Judge Dick said that behaviour, removing the condoms, showed Vico had a "consciousness of guilt" after the offending.
A date for the appeal is yet to be set.*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Convicted rapist badly bashed in jail