Mondure farmer to stand trial for backpacker sexual assault
A LOCAL mung bean farmer, who police allege sexually assaulted a foreign backpacker, has been committed for trial in Kingaroy District Court.
Wayne Robert Green was formally charged with sexual assault, in relation to an incident which occurred back in 2013, where police allege the defendant appeared before the complainant naked, groped her breast and demanded "sexual favours" from her.
He has entered a plea of not guilty.
Eight witnesses provided evidence before Murgon Magistrates Court, in relation to the alleged incident that occurred while the complainant and her partner were working at Green's Mondure farm.
Detective Senior Constable Matthew Goode, who appeared before the court via video, said the initial statement provided to West End police alleged "(the complainant) and Green were alone in the farmhouse when he approached her and pulled her singlet and bra upward, exposing her naked breast. Green has then grabbed hold of her left breast and squeezed her nipple."
The court heard "(the complainant) pushed Green away and ran inside the house. Green followed her into the house, where he stripped down naked and pressured (the complainant) to do the same and give him a hand job."
At the time, she did not wish to make a formal complaint, however decided to do so after being contacted by a detective sergeant attached to Taskforce Argos, the court heard.
The detective made contact with the complainant, and a number of other backpackers who'd previously worked on Green's farm, in relation to a separate alleged incident.
According to the defendant's lawyer, Andrew Kelly, the complainant is thought to have shared details from an "iPad diary" with the officer, which she'd created several years after the alleged incident.
Appearing before the court via video, the complainants mother said she received several distressing phone calls from her daughter while she was at the farm.
"She had to walk a distance to actually get a signal, so she wouldn't call that often. When she did call, she wouldn't talk for long because she was nervous, he'd be listening or catch her out," she told the court.
During these phone calls she told the court the complainant made claims of inappropriate conduct by the defendant.
According to the witness, Green is alleged to have "walked around naked" and "told (the complainant) she had to take her clothing off too".
"He'd stand outside the bathroom and try to watch her changing and grab at her clothes and pull her clothes away," she told the court.
The court heard that toward the end of her daughter's stay, the witness recounts receiving a phone call in the middle of the night. The complainant had used the defendant's landline to contact her parents.
"When you get a phone call in the middle of the night, you always expect the worst. I was speaking to her and my husband was sitting next to me. We could hear she was very upset," she told the court.
"She was saying she was very frightened and had to get away. I've never heard my daughter like that before."
The next witness the court heard was the complainant's ex-partner, who had gone with her to Australia and likewise worked on the defendant's farm.
"We had no phone reception and we didn't know anybody. When you believe you don't know how to get away, you can feel quite vulnerable," he said.
In the final few days prior to their departure from the farm, the witness recalls seeing the complainant driving toward him on a quad bike, and she was allegedly "shaking" and "crying".
He told the court the complainant allegedly said to him "Wayne had tried it on with her".
When questioned by Mr Kelly, the witness said while he did not personally feel threatened, he was concerned for his partner's wellbeing.
The court heard that while he did not notice it initially, the witness alleges upon reflection he believes the defendant attempted to physically separate him from the complainant on several occasions, providing him with jobs at the farthest ends of the farm.
"When he was at home, I'd be at the other side of the land," he told the court.
The witness also alleges to have seen several instances of animal cruelty committed by Green.
According to Det. Goode, the complainants initial statement alleged the defendant had "cut off a bird's head with an axe", "shot a cat in the leg", "hanged a cat", "tied a dead calf to a four-wheeler and dragged it around" etc.
The court heard from two further witnesses - a family friend, who the couple temporarily resided with following the alleged incident, and his neighbour, who accompanied the complainant to the police station.
After hearing the witnesses speak, Magistrate Barry Barrett said there was sufficient evidence to place Green on trial for sexual assault.
He was formally charged and will appear before Kingaroy District Court on a date to be notified by the Department of Public Prosecutions.
The defendant's bail was continued.