Mackay man found not guilty of rape of grandson
A MACKAY grandfather who had strongly maintained his innocence over accusations by the Crown that he raped his 10-year-old grandson, has been found not guilty by a jury in the District Court at Mackay.
With his arms folded in front of his chest and looking straight ahead toward the 12 standing jurors, the 67-year-old at first showed no emotion as each of the verdicts were delivered before Judge Stuart Durward SC just before 12.30pm yesterday.
The jury found him not guilty on three counts of rape and not guilty on three alternative charges of indecent treatment of the boy.
Then, with his innocence declared and released from the dock and back in the public gallery, he was warmly patted on the back by his wife and three other women.
Before reaching its decision the jury requested that it hear again a police recording of a telephone conversation between the boy's mother and the grandfather, in which she asked him why he had done it.
The evidence given at the trial by the boy's mother of what she allegedly witnessed on the morning she walked into the boy's bedroom that he shared with his "Pop" was also read back to the jury.
The jury retired last Thursday afternoon to consider all the evidence before them after being told by defence counsel Bronwyn Hartigan that the Crown had to prove its case on each count "beyond reasonable doubt".
In his video-taped evidence heard by the jury, the boy, now aged 11, claimed his Pop had "sexed" him in his bedroom and on the back of a ute when fishing.
The rape allegations involved incidents in the Mackay and Rockhampton districts.
However, in his defence argument, the grandfather denied all allegations, saying that as a result of blood pressure medication he was unable to have an erection.
The boy's mother also acknowledged she had not seen her father-in-law's penis when she walked into the bedroom.
A medical examination of the boy found no evidence of sexual assault.