Rape conviction overturned after date confusion

A TOOWOOMBA man who was found guilty of raping his partner's daughter has been acquitted after the state's highest court found the verdict to be unreasonable.

The court found the evidence revealed it was impossible for the man to have committed the offence.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the child's identity, was found guilty in the Toowoomba District Court earlier this year of raping the young girl on an unknown date between July 1, 2009, and February 6, 2011.

It was alleged the offence took place while the child's mother was on a shopping trip at Clifford Gardens with her other children and a friend.

But the man appealed his conviction in the Queensland Court of Appeal on the basis it was impossible the offence had been committed on the scenario relied upon by the Crown.

Earlier this month the court heard that witnesses gave conflicting evidence regarding the date the offence was said to have occurred on.

The man, who gave evidence at his trial, said throughout his relationship with the child's mother there was never any stage that he looked after the child by himself, as the prosecution had claimed.

A daycare provider told the court that on the day in question the child's mother had signed the young girl in that day and she was in care between 8.10am and 5.40pm.

The Queensland Court of Appeal, in handing down its findings this week, found a combination of evidence revealed it was impossible for the man to have committed the offence.

"In light of the defence evidence as a whole ... the jury should have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the man's guilt," the court said.

"Consequently, the verdict must be regarded as unreasonable and I would allow the appeal, set aside the guilty verdict and substitute a verdict of acquittal."

- APN NEWSDESK


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