'Rape victim' fined $100

AN alleged rape victim was yesterday hit with a $100 fine after failing to arrive at court to give evidence against her accused attacker.

A magistrate said the woman's actions put the administration of justice in disrepute and he was forced to discharge the alleged rapist.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties yesterday accused the court of not being sympathetic to the woman.

On March 8 this year the woman told police a man entered her home and raped her.

The 28-year-old accused man, who is also her former partner, was charged with rape, stealing and entering a dwelling with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The matter was set down for committal hearing in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday despite the woman's indicating to police she did not want to proceed.

In May this year she signed documents stating she wanted the complaint withdrawn. However, police decided to pursue the matter without her evidence.

The basis for this was not detailed yesterday. The court summoned her to appear yesterday, but she did not show.

Acting Magistrate Mark Morrow said the woman did not comply with the court order, thus putting the administration of justice in disrepute.

He convicted and fined her $100 and dismissed the man after police prosecution offered no evidence.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope disagreed with the magistrate's hard line.

He said the court could have been more sympathetic and addressed the issue other than with a fine.

Mr Cope said he understood, however, that it was an important principle that people answer court summonses.

“We understand why the court would want to enforce that principle,” he said.

“However, the council would have thought the court could have taken a more sympathetic approach given she told police she did not want to proceed and already presumably had been put through stress and inconvenience through the legal process on whatever the rights or wrongs of the charge.”

According to Queensland law, police do not need the complainant's testimony to proceed with charges.

Police weren't in a position to make further comment on this case yesterday.

Although the man was dismissed on the charges relating to March 8 he pleaded guilty to a separate offence of breeching a domestic violence order in relation to the same woman.

On February 12, at 7.20pm, he arrived at her Yeppoon home and became violent.

Police said he pinned the woman against her car causing her to have trouble breathing. He then pushed her to the ground, leaving her with scratches and bruises. He was fined $750 for this attack.

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