High Court quashes man's molestation conviction appeal

THE High Court has quashed a Sunshine Coast step-grandfather's final hopes of overturning convictions for molesting a six-year-old girl after she crawled into his bed seeking comfort from a nightmare.

The girl testified she woke to find the man, known as BCM in a judgment handed down on Wednesday, touching her private parts and that he touched her the same way the following day.

The girl believed it was a few days before her poppy's birthday in 2008 but her grandmother's diary noted she slept over after the party and detailed three foster children staying with them at the time of the alleged sexual assaults.

The grandmother also argued she was a light sleeper and she would have known if the girl climbed into her bed.

A jury found the man guilty of two counts of indecent dealing but did not convict on a third allegation, which the girl only remembered 11 months after she told her mum about the first two offences.

BCM argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal that the verdicts were unreasonable and the evidence did not support them.

After that appeal was dismissed, he argued in the High Court that the Queensland court had failed to assess the evidence given at trial and did not give adequate reasons for its conclusion.

The High Court did find the Court of Appeal's reasons did not sufficiently disclose its assessment of the evidence.

But after the High Court undertook its own review, it agreed the verdicts were not unreasonable or unsupported and dismissed the appeal.

"Any inconsistencies in (the girl's) evidence were to be considered in light of her age at the date of the offences and the intervals between the offending, her first interview with police and her evidence," a summary of the judgment read.

"The High Court held that the Court of Appeal was correct to treat as believable (the girl's) explanation that she was scared and embarrassed as the reason for her delay in coming forward about the third incident."

Local Partners