The appeal was allowed and the child sex convictions set aside  (File)
The appeal was allowed and the child sex convictions set aside (File) Lonpicman/CreativeCommons

Lamborghini painting sex conviction appeal: Retrial ordered

A 'WEIRD' painting of a boy and a Lamborghini has played a role in two sex offence convictions being thrown out.

After a jury trial, Sunshine Coast man Dennis Norman Douglas was found guilty of having an unlawful sexual relationship with a boy.

Mr Douglas, now in his late 40s, was also convicted in March last year of unlawfully and indecently dealing with the boy.

He appealed against the convictions.

His barristers Peter Callaghan and Tony Kimmins argued Judge Anthony Rafter failed to properly direct the jury last year about some evidence.

Queensland Court of Appeal heard prosecutors relied on some evidence as showing that Mr Douglas was "grooming” the boy in order to abuse him.

The Sunshine Coast man's appeal mentioned a painting he did depicting the boy topless beside a Lamborghini, and a video showing him wrestling the alleged victim.

The appeal claimed Judge Rafter should have told jurors not to act on that evidence unless they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that grooming was the real purpose of the conduct.

The alleged victim told police that when he was aged eight or nine, Mr Douglas painted an image of the boy and a sports car.

He told cops: "I thought it was kind of weird [because] he took a photo of me with my shirt on, then ... ended up having no shirt on in the photo”. 

At the jury trial, Douglas chose not to give or call evidence.

His trial defence said the alleged victim was either mistaken or lying about acts of sexual misconduct.

A prosecutor previously said the material was shown to jurors to demonstrate Douglas undertaking a pattern of behaviour designed to gain the boy's trust.

In a decision published on Tuesday, the appeal court judges unanimously agreed the convictions should be set aside.

A retrial on the two charges was ordered. -NewsRegional


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