ON THE RUN: A Man appeared in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on rape, sexual abuse, and indecent treatment of children charges. Pic: Supplied
ON THE RUN: A Man appeared in Chinchilla Magistrates Court on rape, sexual abuse, and indecent treatment of children charges. Pic: Supplied

Alleged child rapist caught hiding out in the Western Downs

THE Chinchilla Magistrates Court heard a man facing 23 charges, including rape, and the indecent treatment of two children has been allegedly evading police in the Western Downs region.

While in custody in Dalby, the 30-year-old appeared in Chinchilla Magistrates Court via phone on Thursday, August 20 on a string of sex crimes, including one charge of rape, three charges of sexual assault, three charges of indecent treatment of a child under 12, four charges of indecent treatment of a child under 16, seven charges of assault occasioning bodily harm (domestic violence), four charges of dangerous operation of a vehicle (domestic violence), and one charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Peters Criminal Lawyer Claire Graham made a submission to the court to apply for bail for the alleged rapist.

She stated as the victims of the offences reside in Cunnamulla he would be a reduced risk to cause further harm.

"Your Honour he resides with his (current) partner at the address (provided)… he lives on that property working for… an elderly lady," Ms Graham said.

"He has been there on my instructions for a few months.

"He's obviously charged with a number of very serious offences that relate primarily to a (past) relationship he had with a lady…. She's a number of years, I think about 20 years older than my client - they were in a relationship up until about 2018.

"He's charged with offences alleged to have occurred… over many years and the allegation is she had made that complaint or given a statement to police at the end of last year.

"She has two relatives who have also made allegations, one is a child in relation to allegations of a sexual nature, that's indecent treatment, rape charges, and some sexual assaults.

Ms Graham said her client denied the allegation that he has been on the run from police, as Centrelink has records of his current address, although he didn't change his licence address as he doesn't currently have a licence.

Police prosecutor senior constable Jodie Tahana strongly opposed the bail submission stating the defendant had been actively avoiding police, relocating to bushland 60km from Chinchilla after the victim filed a complaint last year.

"In December of 2019 a complaint made to police, and inquiries into the location of the suspect were unable to find any information as to his whereabouts," snr const Tahana said.

"The victim told police after making her statement the defendant contacted her by telephone and threatened her, saying, 'I know you've made statement and your little c-t niece - nothing ever happened and if I get into trouble or go to jail I'm going to make you pay, because it was all your fault, I blame you for everything, I'm going to shoot you.'

"Since that time the defendant has actively avoided police, he disconnected phone numbers, and did not report any changes of address.

"On the 19th of August when police were made aware that he was hiding at a property… in a remote rural location, that's when they attended the address and they spoke to the property owner who denied any knowledge of the defendant.

"At this time police noticed the defendant running away from the rear of the property towards bushland, and hid under a truck.

"When they went to where he was living they found it to be a secluded caravan in bushland on the property.

"So he has been actively avoiding police and attempted to flee from police when they arrived."

Magistrate Tracy Mossop said the bail application was made on behalf of the defendant, "with respect to 23 charges, the charges that are alleged against him are serious, they are alleged to have occurred between 2012 and 2018… and it seems police have had some difficulty locating (the defendant)."

Ms Mossop said she regarded the submission and opposition of the bail application and considered the risks the alleged rapist presented, coming to the decision they can be managed with strict bail conditions.

"I'm satisfied he is someone who can be granted bail and should be given the opportunity to comply with bail," she said.

The defendant is subjected to the following bail conditions; he must stay at his current address, there is a curfew between 8pm and 6am, he must report at Dalby Police Station three days a week, he must not contact, approach or have someone contact the three victims, he must not go to Cunnamulla unless for court and when he does so he is to report to police on arrival and departure.

"Mark my word, if you breach this bail there's really not much more to go, you will find yourself in custody on remand for a significant amount of time," Ms Mossop said.

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