Child rape conviction lifted for Lismore man on 2nd appeal

A LISMORE man previously convicted of raping his girlfriend's six-year-old daughter has been released from jail on appeal.

The man was first sentenced to a year's prison in December 2013 after he was found guilty of abusing the young girl in her East Lismore bedroom while her mother was shopping.

The six-year-old girl told the court he licked and kissed her "bagina".

The Crown last year appealed the 12-month minimum sentence and had it extended to four years.

Now the man has won a second appeal and had the rape conviction for allegedly putting his mouth on the girl's private parts overturned, because the prosecution never explicitly established the exact area the girl meant when she said "bagina".

NSW Supreme Court Justice Clifton Hoeben found the sentencing judge had misquoted the child's evidence when she stated the girl had been kissed "on or near" her genitals, rather than simply "near" them.

The "kissing" rape charge was the only count for which the man received a prison term, with each of the six other indecent assault charges subsumed in the sentence.

Justice Hoeben found the acquittal had "serious implications" because "no alternative count was relied on by the Crown".

He lifted the man's rape conviction and ordered his immediate release from jail.

-APN NEWSDESK



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