Rape case jury accepts sleepwalk

Toowoomba man Trent John Pobar leaves the Darwin Supreme Court.
Toowoomba man Trent John Pobar leaves the Darwin Supreme Court. NORTHERN TERRITORY NEWS

TOOWOOMBA man Trent John Pobar, who was charged with raping a sleeping woman, was found not guilty by a Darwin Supreme Court jury which accepted he was sleepwalking at the time.

Mr Pobar, 29, admitted to having sex with the woman at Katherine in January last year, but said he had a history of parasomnia which involves performing complex motor behaviours in his sleep.

He said he had not done it voluntarily and pleaded not guilty to the rape charge.

The court heard Mr Pobar drank about two cartons of beer, rum, some red wine and absinthe — an estimated 55 standard drinks — before he and three others passed out at the victim’s house.

The victim told the jury she passed out in her bed naked and woke to find Mr Pobar having sex with her.

Mr Pobar said he could not remember anything until the victim’s partner dragged him out of the house by his foot.

Mr Pobar is the son of Toowoomba Regional Council candidate Pat Pobar and his wife Gayle.

He grew up in Toowoomba and is a sixth generation Pobar living in the Garden City.

Mr Pobar had been living in the Northern Territory at the time of the offence. He, his wife Melanie, and their young son moved back to Toowoomba afterwards.

The family, including his mother and father, supported Mr Pobar in court when the unanimous not guilty verdict was handed down on Friday after three hours and 10 minutes. The trial had started last Monday.

Melanie Pobar told the court she remembered him getting up during the night and urinating in a cupboard, drawer or shower, and not being able to remember it.

She also claimed he had once had sex with her in his sleep and could not remember it the next day.

Mr Pobar’s mother told the court that her husband Pat also suffered from sleepwalking.

The families of both Mr Pobar and the victim burst into tears when the jury announced the not guilty verdict.

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