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UPDATE: Jury deliberating on Birthisel cop rape

UPDATE, 4pm:

THE jury has left the courtroom to deliberate whether former police officer Trent Christopher Birthisel, 31, is guilty of raping a 20-year-old woman.

Judge Brian Harrison said if the panel of 12 jurors had not reached a decision by 5pm, the matter would be adjourned to tomorrow.

INITIAL:

THE lawyer for a former police officer accused of raping a 20-year-old woman has told the District Court in Mackay the woman had been an "active and enthusiastic" partner.

Defence barrister Stephen Zillman said the woman's behaviour on February 2, 2014, when she was allegedly raped multiple times, indicated she had been co-operative.

Mr Zillman was making his concluding statement on the third day of the trial of former constable Trent Christopher Birthisel, 31.

He said that in giving evidence to a closed court earlier this week, the woman had maintained she had given Birthisel a fake number after he dropped her at a Glenella house on the night in question.

Mr Zillman said Birthisel's notebook, which had been seized by police during their investigation, showed that, in fact, the woman had given her real phone number.

Mr Zillman told the court the woman had been "trying to mislead" the jury and that her rape complaint was false.

He said there had been inconsistencies between the woman's testimony and those of her friends.

In court this morning, the Crown brought forward its final two witnesses: the complainant's sister and Acting Senior Sergeant Paul James, who examined CCTV footage taken on the night in question.

The sister confirmed that on February 3, 2014 the woman told her that she'd "closed her eyes" as two police officers drove her down a dirt road and later raped her.

In her closing address, Crown prosecutor Belinda Merrin told the court that the woman had been compliant with Birthisel because she had been intimidated by his "level of authority" as a police officer, and as she had been a young, intoxicated woman.

Ms Merrin said the woman had not initiated any sexual contact with Birthisel. She said the woman had been "immediately upset" and immediately phoned friends.

Birthisel did not give evidence or call any witnesses to testify at the trial.

The trial continues this afternoon.

Topics:  court editors picks mackay


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