Man loses bid to overturn child sex conviction

A MAN found guilty of sexually abusing his stepdaughter in Mackay and Collingwood Park has lost his bid to overturn his conviction.

His lawyers claimed the man was denied a fair trial, but the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal yesterday.

The man, who is in his 40s and cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, was found guilty last year of six counts of indecently dealing with a child and sentenced to a maximum of four years jail, with parole eligibility set at March 2016.

The offences occurred when the man was in an on-and-off relationship with the victim's mother, including between 2005 and 2007 at Slade Point, in Mackay, and 2007 and 2008 at Collingwood Park, near Ipswich.

The various offences occurred when the girl was aged nine to about 12 years old.

The Queensland Court of Appeal judgment from Justice Robert Gotterson said the man's lawyers had argued the judge who oversaw the victim's evidence when it was pre-recorded caused a miscarriage of justice.

The judge had at times interrupted and made comments when the victim was cross-examined and the man's lawyers argued that viewing this would have caused a jury to have little confidence in the defence.

But Justice Gotterson said his impression was that the cross-examination was not unfairly constrained or hindered.

"I acknowledge that the pre-record judge intervened often during the proceedings," Justice Gotterson said.

He added the interventions were to "seek the reformulation of questions" that were inappropriately worded for a child witness, contained more than one question or were convoluted.

"To my mind these interventions, and others of which they are typical, were appropriate," Justice Gotterson said. - APN NEWSDESK


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