Jury retires to consider verdict in alleged sex abuse case
THE closing arguments have been made in the trial of a man accused of sexual abuse against siblings.
The matter is being held before Hervey Bay District Court, where the man was facing charges of indecent treatment of a child.
Police allege the man, now aged in his late 60s, abused his two nieces in the home he shared with the girls, their brother and their grandparents in the late 80s and early 90s.
The court heard the two girls were aged four and five when they were taken with their six-year-old brother from their parents and put into the care of their grandparents.
Another adult relative told the court he had walked in on his brother-in-law and young niece on Christmas Day in the '90s.
The child was 11 years old at the time.
He said he went looking for cigarettes in a bedroom and saw the girl was on top of her uncle with her dress above her head.
The witness said he was in shock and mentioned the incident to his wife and the child's grandfather a few days later.
In her closing statements, the Crown prosecutor said it should be emphasised that just because there was no DNA in the matter, that did not diminish the evidence.
She asked the jury to consider the testimony of the witnesses and the two women who were allegedly abused as children and ask themselves whether they found their account to be honest.
The prosecutor said the demeanour of the women were consistent with finding the experience of testimony "invasive and uncomfortable".
She said the jury had heard testimony from family members regarding what they had allegedly witnessed and evidence from both girls about what they allegedly witnessed happening to each other.
The defence barrister representing the man addressed the jury, telling them the charges probably "turn your stomach".
But he questioned the testimony of the two women, including the fact that no dates regarding the abuse had been specifically specified, which would have given his client the opportunity to determine if he had been at the home at the time.
The lack of specific dates had made providing an alibi impossible, the court heard.
The court heard the defence barrister had suggested to both girls that the alleged offences hadn't happened.
He also questioned the testimony of the adult witness who allegedly saw one of the children on top of her uncle with her dress above her head.
He said it was strange that no alarm had been raised at the time if the man had in fact witnessed that scene.
The defence barrister said even if the jury felt the man probably committed the alleged acts, they must find him innocent.
He said the charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The jury had retired to consider its decision on Friday afternoon.