‘No remorse’: Survivor advocate says justice served
A NOOSA councillor was emotionless, with the exception of a raised eyebrow, as a jury sealed his fate and found him guilty of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.
Frank James Pardon, 70, sat still, avoiding eye contact with the jury as the guilty verdicts to 10 of the 11 sexual-related charges were read aloud to a quiet courtroom.
Pardon was found guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with a teenager across four months in the 1990s, where he performed oral sex on her in his car and inappropriately touched and kissed her multiple times at her workplace.
Pardon stole a sweeping kiss from his fiancee and spoke briefly with his barrister about a toothbrush and medication before he was led to the watch house where he will await his sentencing on Friday.
Assisting defence barrister, Robert Butler said Pardon was "stoic" and the team would consider their legal options after sentencing.
A witness in the trial, Kate Gibson, spoke after the verdict was handed down and said it was a "happy day" for survivors of child sexual abuse.
"I'm very happy to be seeing the justice system demonstrated and that justice was served in this matter," she said.
Ms Gibson, who was Pardon's former lover, said she believed he showed "no remorse".
In her evidence, she told the court how Pardon admitted his "obsessed" love for the victim in a conversation they had more than 10 years ago.
The jury also heard from multiple witnesses across the seven-day trial, including doctors, a psychiatrist, and a friend of the victim who all said the woman had spoken to them about the sexual encounters.
Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings relied heavily on a recorded conversation that captures Pardon admitting his "resistance" for the woman and how he would have left his wife for her.
The conversation between the pair was recorded in 2016 as part of the police investigation after the victim came forward about the sexual acts.
Defence barrister Andrew Hoare attempted to cast doubt in the jury's mind about the credibility of the victim's evidence saying her memory had been altered by hypnotherapy.
The victim sought hypnotherapy in 2006 for binge eating and smoking.
Mr Hoare gained evidence from an expert in hypnotherapy who said it was "possible" her sexual abuse suspicions were cemented in the treatment.
The jury of seven men and five women retired to deliberate their verdict at 2pm on Tuesday but required a copy of the victim's transcript before they could make a decision.
It took just one hour for the jury to reach their decision after analysing her evidence yesterday.
Ms Gibson said the guilty verdict gave hope to other sexual abuse survivors and she urged those people to speak up.
"This is a new age in bringing people to accounts for their actions who have destroyed lives," she said.
Pardon was found not guilty for one indecent treatment charge which alleged the victim woke up with Frank on top of her.
His historical charges face a maximum penalty of 14 years jail. The maximum penalty would be life if the offences occurred today.