’Rubbish’: Pardon denies all claims of sexual acts on minor
A NOOSA councillor up against indecent treatment charges has claimed a comment made in a recorded conversation with his alleged victim was a "term of endearment" he told hundreds of women.
Frank James Pardon, 70, said he knew it was "cheeky" to tell his alleged sexual abuse victim he wanted to leave his wife for her, but told Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings nothing sexual ever happened between the pair.
Pardon has pleaded not guilty to 11 sexual-related offences on a 14-year-old in the 1990s and took the witness box today to give evidence.
The conversation, which was recorded in 2016, was replayed at Maroochydore District Court on day five of his trial.
The phone call was recorded as part of the police investigation and formed part of the evidence.
Pardon can be heard in the recording talking of his "resistance" in "intimate" moments with his alleged victim.
Under cross-examination by Mr Cummings, Pardon said he was referring to resistance in a moment where the alleged victim and her friend were in his car in bikinis.
"Two girls in the car in bikinis … that takes a bit of resistance," he said.
In one of the charges, Pardon is alleged to have touched and licked the teenager's genitalia while on this car ride after a day of swimming at a pool. He strongly denied any suggestion the acts ever occurred.
He is also alleged to have touched and kissed the alleged victim at her workplace, in a cold room, in his car and at his home over four months.
Pardon strongly denied every suggestion of sexual activity made by Mr Cummings in his lengthy cross-examination, saying "absolutely not" or "rubbish" to each claim.
In the same recorded phone call, Pardon tells the woman he didn't want to do anything "over the top" until she was 16 years old.
He addressed his mistake and long pauses in the call, saying he was often careful of random phone calls after colleagues and friends referred suicidal people to him for a chat.
The jury has also heard claims Pardon visited the girl's school with flowers on Valentine's Day. Pardon had the chance to address these claims and said he went to the school with a job reference. He denied ever taking flowers to the school.
Defence barrister Andrew Hoare has previously claimed the alleged victim's memory was fogged by hypnosis sought for binge eating and smoking in 2006 and called on another expert who said it was possible.
Dr John Roberts said it was "potentially" possible that hypnosis could turn suspicions into cemented memories, even if the hypnosis was not directed at sexual trauma.
"Hypnosis giving rise to false memories is able to be produced even in the light trance levels but is more likely to occur in the deeper trance levels," he said.
"It's not possible for the therapist to accurately determine the level of hypnosis at which the subject is at any particular point in time"
Dr Roberts' evidence goes against that of another expert, Dr Warwick Middleton, who gave evidence last week that hypnosis was unlikely to impact memories.
The jury also heard from Narelle Julian, an acquaintance of Pardon, who said his jovial language of "leaving home" for another woman was common.