Zaine Steven McNeish pleaded not guilty to 30 sexual offences including nine counts of rape. He was convicted of abusing three little north Queensland sisters.
Zaine Steven McNeish pleaded not guilty to 30 sexual offences including nine counts of rape. He was convicted of abusing three little north Queensland sisters.

This rapist befriended family to abuse three little sisters

A CHILD rapist who sexually abused three young sisters has lost an appeal to have his conviction overturned.

Zaine Steven McNeish was convicted by in Townsville District Court of two counts of maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child and 19 other charges including four counts of rape.

The victims were aged between two and 10 when he attacked them.

McNeish was 20 at the time of offending and became close friends with the girls' parents, mowing their grass, cooking meals and babysitting.

He was considered to be "part of the family".

In June 2018, Judge Gregory Lynham sentenced McNeish to 18 years in jail for the crimes that included multiple counts of rape on the youngest two siblings.

McNeish asked the Queensland Court of Appeal quash his conviction on the grounds that the charges involving the eldest sister should have been heard at a separate trial as his abuse of her did not "progress to rape".

McNeish claimed a judge made an "error of law" by deciding not to split the case into multiple trials.

The Court of Appeal disagreed, ruling it was appropriate for all of the charges to be put to the one jury.

The appeal has been dismissed. - NewsRegional


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