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  Home :: 2006 November :: Gorgeous’ girl testifies to closed court on video

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3710093&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=

Gorgeous’ girl testifies to closed court onvideo


17.11.2006
A FOUR-year-old child abuse victim looked “as cute as a carload of monkeys” when she testified on video in the District Court in Mackay yesterday.

The court was closed to the media and public while the video was played but Crown prosecutor Peter Smid later described the appearance of the child and said she was a "gorgeous" little girl.

The 12 jurors who exclusively saw the video outnumbered officials in the courtroom.

The video player is located high on the wall opposite the jury, above the empty witness box. The usual practice when videos are played is to dim the giant lights of the courtroom.

 
 
Mr Smid said in his closing address that the girl clearly blamed her stepfather for her injuries.

The court has heard medical experts say that the girl suffered five fractures to her ribs, had caustic soda poured over her groin and poured down her throat.

The stepfather, 32, has pleaded guilty to one charge of child cruelty by failing to provide necessary medical care for the child. He is yet to be sentenced for that offence. He has pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault causing bodily harm and two of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

In closing the Crown case, Mr Smid said the medical evidence backed up and supported the girl’s evidence that her stepfather "poured some stuff onto her wee wee and down her throat". The girl also said her stepfather threw her into a wall.

Defence barrister Paddy Cullinane said it was a difficult and traumatic case but “we do not convict people on suspicion” and there was no confession of guilt or admission of guilt by the stepfather, no witnesses and no confessions to any third party.

Mr Cullinane said the girl never made a complaint to her mother, as would be expected.

The jury of six women and six men is expected to retire today to consider its verdicts.

 
 

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3710093&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=

Gorgeous’ girl testifies to closed court onvideo


17.11.2006
A FOUR-year-old child abuse victim looked “as cute as a carload of monkeys” when she testified on video in the District Court in Mackay yesterday.

The court was closed to the media and public while the video was played but Crown prosecutor Peter Smid later described the appearance of the child and said she was a "gorgeous" little girl.

The 12 jurors who exclusively saw the video outnumbered officials in the courtroom.

The video player is located high on the wall opposite the jury, above the empty witness box. The usual practice when videos are played is to dim the giant lights of the courtroom.

 
 
Mr Smid said in his closing address that the girl clearly blamed her stepfather for her injuries.

The court has heard medical experts say that the girl suffered five fractures to her ribs, had caustic soda poured over her groin and poured down her throat.

The stepfather, 32, has pleaded guilty to one charge of child cruelty by failing to provide necessary medical care for the child. He is yet to be sentenced for that offence. He has pleaded not guilty to two charges of assault causing bodily harm and two of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

In closing the Crown case, Mr Smid said the medical evidence backed up and supported the girl’s evidence that her stepfather "poured some stuff onto her wee wee and down her throat". The girl also said her stepfather threw her into a wall.

Defence barrister Paddy Cullinane said it was a difficult and traumatic case but “we do not convict people on suspicion” and there was no confession of guilt or admission of guilt by the stepfather, no witnesses and no confessions to any third party.

Mr Cullinane said the girl never made a complaint to her mother, as would be expected.

The jury of six women and six men is expected to retire today to consider its verdicts.

 
 

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3709555&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=

Judge warns jury of crueltyclaims


14.11.2006
FOUR women declined to be jurors in a child cruelty case that began in Mackay yesterday after the judge gave details of some of the disturbing evidence that would be presented.

The women were among a panel of about 70 potential jurors who were warned about the disturbing nature of the case by a visiting District Court judge.

The women were not required to give reasons for not wanting to be involved in the case.

Judge Stuart Durward, SC, warned all potential jurors about the nature of the case and said he did so with the knowledge of barristers involved in the trial.

The case would involve allegations of burning of the skin of the genitalia area and throat of a girl who was four years old and who was now aged five, Judge Durward told the jury panel.

 
 
The judge said he disclosed the potential disturbing aspect of the trial so that any jurors who might have difficulty in being impartial could ask not to sit on the case.

Four women immediately indicated they did not want to sit as jurors on the trial and they were discharged by Judge Durward without seeking any explanation from them.

Eventually, a jury of six women and six men was sworn in. Before the court is an Andergrove stepfather, 32, who can not be identified by law, and who pleaded guilty to child cruelty by failing to provide necessary care for his four-year-old stepdaughter between June 1 and September 26 last year. He will be sentenced for that offence at the end of his current trial.

He pleaded not guilty yesterday to two charges of assault causing bodily harm and two charges of causing grievous bodily harm to the same child between June and September last year.

The trial was adjourned until today and no allegations were read out in court.

However, Crown prosecutor Peter Smid told the jury they would be hearing evidence from 11 witnesses, including three specialists from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the grandmother and aunty of the child, the mother of the child, and two police investigators.

The witnesses are expected to start testifying today and the trial is expected to last several days.

 


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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia