Sex assault trial: man says he trusted defendant to take sister home
The brother of a woman alleged to have been sexually assaulted after a party told a Supreme Court jury that he entrusted his sister to the defendant’s care.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said that his sister was intoxicated and slurring her words on the night of the alleged incident.
He said: “She was unstable and she was drunk — you could tell she’d had a few drinks.
“I asked if she was OK to get home, she said, ‘Yes, I’m OK’.”
He added that he told the defendant to “make sure my sister gets home” before leaving the scene.
The defendant, 22, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, has denied a sex assault alleged to have happened on November 2, 2019.
The court heard that the brother ran into his sister and a group of her friends at the Docksider Pub and Restaurant on Front Street, Hamilton on the night of the alleged incident.
He said that at some point that night she was sitting at the bar with her head down and that her friend was “rubbing her back as if she were intoxicated”.
He added that he later saw his sister on the kerb outside the bar while leaning on the defendant for stability.
According to the man, the defendant, who had known his sister for years and whom he knew in passing, said that he planned to take her home.
He added: “I had seen him enough times that I trusted him to get her home safe.”
The man said that when his sister alleged the next day that the defendant had sex with her without her consent, he went to the defendant’s home to confront him.
He admitted that he was aggressive, but insisted “I wanted to approach this matter from as unbiased a perspective as possible”.
The brother told the court that he considered the defendant an “associate”, adding: “I would bump into him on occasion and speak to him casually, then move on.”
Elizabeth Christopher, for the defence, questioned why he would trust his sister with someone he considered an associate if she was as intoxicated as he claimed.
She suggested that the alleged victim was not leaning on her client for support and that she was not as drunk as the witness thought she was.
Ms Christopher also suggested that the witness himself was intoxicated and could not make proper judgment calls at the time.
The witness admitted that he was “feeling nice” at the time, but insisted that he knew what he had seen.
The court heard during a formal admission of evidence that the alleged victim underwent a sex assault examination at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital on November 4, 2019.
A nurse who conducted the exam said that sand and grass were found in the woman’s hair and that a urine analysis showed that there was THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis, present in her body.
She added that no physical injuries were found, but said this did not mean that an assault did not take place.
The trial continues.
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