Mother guilty of bruising son's genitals
A ROMA woman is now behind bars after a jury found her guilty of indecently handling her seven-year-old son.
The woman, who cannot be identified, was found guilty of one of three charges in the Roma District Court.
Her son testified against his mother via a recording made in Toowoomba, where he said she had caused bruising to his penis during one of his weekend visits to Roma to see her.
When asked by the prosecutor in the video whether his mother had touched his privates, causing bruising, the seven-year-old confirmed it.
"On this occasion, when you said your mum grabbed your penis, were you standing or sitting on the (defendant's) bed?" the prosecutor asked. "I was sitting," the boy replied.
When asked how he felt when his mother had touched his penis, the boy told the court he felt both sad and angry.
"I felt very sad that I nearly cried - I was very angry (as well)," he said in the video.
The boy's testimony also stated his mother had grabbed his penis with both hands for about half an hour, as well as making him put his hand down her own pants.
Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso, whose case was based on the boy's testimony, argued in her summary to the jury that his evidence was consistent enough to be trusted.
"If you are finding the accused guilty, realistically what you need to be able to do is determine that (the child) is an honest and reliable witness," she told the jury.
Ms Kelso went on to describe moments during the boy's interview that she said proved he had not been "coached" by his father and stepmother.
"The thing that is most telling is when (the child) is asked by (defence barrister) Mr Hardcastle , 'So your stepmother said that they'll take you down to the police station and you tell them what happened,' and instead (the boy) answers, 'No, she just took me there and said to tell the truth,' " Ms Kelso said.
"You might remember when he was speaking to the Dalby police officer and she said, 'Do you know when you said to mummy no, no' and (the child) stopped and corrected the police officer by saying, 'No, I said to her stop it.' "
Defence barrister Phillip Hardcastle argued the boy's testimony was inconsistent with previous interviews he'd done with police, citing the number of times such an incident had occurred, along with the seven-year-old repeatedly replying to certain questions with 'I was confused'.
"I'm suggesting that she never touched your penis or made you put your hand on her privates," he said to the boy in the recording.
Judge Searles sentenced the woman to nine months jail, to be suspended after four and a half months for a period of three years.