‘Extremely predatory’ business executive jailed for rape
FORMER Ports North executive Alan Vico has been handed a jail sentence of five-and-a-half years for the "predatory" rape of a Norwegian backpacker he picked up drunk from the side of a Cairns street.
Vico, 54, spotted the 20-year-old woman on the side of Sheridan St in Cairns North while driving home late at night on September 20, 2018, performed a U-turn and came back to collect her.
Despite telling police in a later interview he was trying to "help" the heavily intoxicated woman, he drove 6km to a motel in Earlville where he raped her then left.
She woke up alone and naked with no idea where she was, then found an empty condom packet, a $20 note and a motel room key beside the bed with her clothes scattered around.
Judge Julie Dick found Vico guilty of rape on Tuesday, more than two months after his judge only trial in June.
While handing down her sentence in the Cairns District Court on Thursday she labelled his behaviour "extremely predatory".
"It seems to me you saw her, you did a U-turn and you went to get her," she said.
"It's sad this weakness brings you to this position.
"I take no pleasure in this.
"You've lost your job and your career you say. (That is) over and above anything I could say to you."
She said Vico had also become the subject of public "shaming" with his friends and colleagues only learning of his offending when the case appeared on the front page of the Cairns Post during his trial.
The woman, who was an exchange student in Australia at the time, cannot be identified and has returned to Norway.
She had to give evidence during the trial and submitted a victim impact statement about the effects of both the assault and the court process, including having to give evidence in the middle of the night due to the time difference.
"It has had and continues to have a heavy impact on the complainant," Judge Dick said.
Defence barrister Tony Kimmins handed up nine references for Vico including his daughter and well known local consultant Pat Flanagan.
He conceded his client had not indicated any remorse, but gleaned from the references he had spoken to family and friends about the case.
"He indicated he made poor choices, that's the highest I can take that," he said.
In her decision handed down on Tuesday Judge Dick said Vico had shown a "consciousness of guilt" after the offending, removing condoms from the motel room which were later found by police in his bin at home with both their DNA.
At the time of the offending Vico was a general manager at Ports North on a salary of almost $290,000.
He will be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as 'Extremely predatory': Cairns executive jailed for rape