Philanthropist ordered to pay $110,000 security in defamation case

A Cambodian philanthropist has been ordered to pay a $110,000 security before her defamation case against a Canberra law student can proceed.

The deputy registrar of the ACT Magistrates Court this week ordered Geraldine Cox’s lawsuit, that alleges Juanita Zankin defamed her in a February Facebook post, be stayed until the former diplomat stumps up the cash.

Ms Cox launched the legal action over a a 27-word comment Ms Zankin made on the social media page of Canberra law firm, Ben Aulich and Associates.

The law firm posted an image on its Facebook account in February, with the caption: “An excellent time raising funds for Sunrise Cambodia with Geraldine Cox”.

In response, Ms Zankin posted a comment alleging Ms Cox had caused harm and was despised in Cambodia.

Ms Cox alleges the post defamed her and hurt her charity as it damaged her reputation.

The lawsuit argues the intention of the comment had been to cause harm to the operation of Cambodia Sunrise by causing Ms Cox to be despised, to prevent Australians from making donations, and inferring she conducted the charity shamefully.

She is seeking damages, aggravated damages, and costs.

The matter first came before the court in mid-year, with ACT Magistrates Court deputy registrar Michael Edwards dismissing Ms Zankin’s application to have the matter stayed or thrown out, and struck out the majority of the defence as defective.

Mr Edwards ordered Ms Zankin to pay costs.

Ms Zankin then launched a security for costs application against Ms Cox, on the grounds she is based in Cambodia.

Security for costs can be ordered when a plaintiff resides in a country where an Australian court order could be difficult to enforce.

Ms Cox opposed the application, arguing it had not been brought promptly, and it had been Ms Zankin’s second attempt at the application, having a previous bid withdrawn and then dismissed by the court.

In a decision, published on Wednesday, Mr Edwards ordered Ms Cox to pay the court $110,000, or provide a security for that amount.

“Being satisfied that [Ms Cox] is ordinarily overseas, … I am of the view that it is appropriate to order security for costs,” Mr Edwards wrote.

“There is no doubt that the costs of this matter if it proceeds to trial will be substantial.

“If successful [Ms Zankin] would be put to additional costs to enforce any costs order if she can enforce it at all in Cambodia. There is no evidence that an order will be oppressive or stultify the proceedings.”

Mr Edwards ordered the proceedings be stayed until the court received the security.

SSM: Turnbull got it done, and he should be given credit for that

Updated November 17, 2017 16:32:43

The party in Canberra’s Lonsdale street on Wednesday night was like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Pure, spontaneous, joyful celebration.

Thousands of people literally dancing in the street.

Young and old, gay and straight (mostly gay) revelling in the moment that people won over politics.

In a city infamous for a grim adherence to rules and order, police calmly watched on as party-goers passed around beers purchased from the local bottle shop.

The ACT’s Chief Minister even skolled a Corona on stage (with a slice of lemon in it, of course).

One smiling stranger hugged me and said, “Don’t ever change.” (My wife will be happy to hear I don’t plan on it).

This was a party to remember and it went well into the early hours.

A lot of people had complained about the Coalition’s plan for a plebiscite or postal vote to settle the issue of same-sex marriage.

But would a celebration like this have been possible without it?

I bumped into a gay (and happy) Federal MP, who’d hated the idea of a people’s vote.

“Was it all worth it for this moment?” I asked.

“Absolutely!” was the reply.

Big changes require big fights

The jubilation in Lonsdale Street was in massive contrast to the Prime Minister’s quiet celebration at home.

Dinner and a glass of champagne with Lucy. Then watching the Socceroos (at a somewhat awkward angle) from an armchair in his bedroom at The Lodge.

It was a relatively lonely image, especially of a man who revels amongst the crowds at Mardi Gras each year as it proudly stomps through his electorate.

Clearly, this is not a victory Malcolm Turnbull is willing or able to publicly own just yet, such are the divisions in the “broad church” called (ironically at times) The Coalition.

The tone at his press conference earlier in the day seemed defiant, almost angry. Certainly not jubilant.

It was left up to Labor and the Greens, who opposed the process, to dance in the streets.

The reality is, though, in the end it was Malcolm Turnbull who got this done. And he should be given credit for that.

It was a messy process. It was risky. It was hurtful for those whose private relationships were dragged through a national debate.

And, since the for and against numbers were roughly unchanged throughout the entire process, it was evidently unnecessary.

But the effect of the national vote, and the strength of the Yes case, has cemented this change so firmly that no politician in their right mind would attempt turn it around in a future election.

And few, if any, will stand in the way of it being legislated before Christmas.

Even the fiercest opponents, like Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi, have indicated they’ll abstain, rather than vote no in Parliament.

Allowing same-sex marriage is a big change.

Big changes require big fights.

And big fights make the celebrations that much sweeter.

Topics: government-and-politics, federal-government, liberals, marriage, gays-and-lesbians, turnbull-malcolm, canberra-2600

First posted November 17, 2017 16:00:17

Zed Seselja warns changes needed for marriage bill

Overwhelming national support for same-sex marriage and in every state and territory shouldn’t be seen as a “blank cheque” for legislation in Parliament, Senator Zed Seselja warned on Thursday.

Restating his plans to vote for the landmark social reform off the back of the government’s postal survey, the ACT senator and Coalition frontbencher said he would fight hard for strong freedom of speech and freedom of religion protections, as well as the rights of parents.

The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs wouldn’t detail what specific speech or actions he wanted legally protected, but said religious leaders and clergy should not face sanctions for teaching their faith’s position on marriage.

Breaking with Attorney-General George Brandis, Senator Seselja said more than one or two amendments would be needed to a private member’s bill put forward by Liberal Dean Smith, but that the legislation would likely be passed before Christmas.

“I think someone shouldn’t suffer detriment, they shouldn’t be sacked from their employment, they shouldn’t have discrimination because they hold a traditional view of marriage, as 40 per cent or so of Australians do,” he said.

“Liberals and Nationals have, almost universally in recent decades, always stood up for freedom of speech and religion – that is something that unifies us.

“I would be shocked and surprised if virtually all of our colleagues didn’t fight for freedom of speech and religion in this context.

“The ‘yes’ case assured everyone there would be no consequences for freedom of speech and religion and other things.”

The ACT led the nation in voting to legalise same-sex marriage, returning 74 per cent support for changing the law, well above every other state and territory.

A conservative Catholic, Senator Seselja courted controversy as he split with some of his Coalition colleagues to support a surprise motion by South Australian Cory Bernardi which asked the Senate to “oppose Medicare funding for the termination of pregnancy, where it occurs on gender grounds”.

The government was opposed to the motion but both major parties allow their MPs a conscience vote on abortion related matters.

Senator Seselja and fellow frontbenchers Matt Canavan and Anne Ruston joined One Nation in support, but the vote was lost 36 to 10.

Abortion access is governed by state and territory laws in Australia and Medicare does not specifically fund sex-selection procedures.

Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher slammed her territory colleague over the vote.

“The government was hopelessly caught out this morning, they didn’t know how to vote on the Bernardi motions, they changed their minds during divisions and government senators, including ministers, voted against the government’s official position,” she said.

“It was an absolute shambles from a government that was made to look like a joke by Cory Bernardi.

“Senator Seselja has never supported a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion and the way he voted today – against the position of a government he is a minister in – shows exactly how extreme and entrenched his views are.”

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Prosecutors accused of ‘ferocious attack’ in ADFA rape case

Updated November 16, 2017 17:57:15

Prosecutors have been accused of launching a “ferocious attack” on a former ADFA cadet accused of raping a colleague allegedly too drunk to consent.

Prosecutor Rebecca Christiansen told the court the allegation stemmed from a night out drinking, where the woman had become so drunk she could not see.

A text message she had sent to a friend at the time was used as evidence of her condition.

The group had been at one pub and moved to another, before Agresti offered to take the woman home in a taxi.

At ADFA they were seen going into her room, with one witness saying he saw Agresti shut the door in breach of the rules.

Ms Christiansen said the woman’s evidence was that her mind was so blurry she could not remember much of the incident and had to check her sheets the next day to confirm what had happened.

“It’s entirely consistent with her being substantially intoxicated the night before, so intoxicated she was unable to consent to intercourse,” she said.

“From the very beginning [the victim] has given a plausible … honest account.”

But Agresti claimed the woman initiated the encounter.

‘Amber lights’ around victim’s account, lawyer says

Agresti’s lawyer Philip Dunn told the court he was an 18-year-old who thought he got lucky, and labelled the prosecution’s case “misleading”.

“There has been a ferocious attack – this man has lived every young man’s worst nightmare,” he said.

He also questioned the woman’s evidence, in light of the fact she did not complain for more than a year.

“There are amber lights about her evidence that caution you about what she said,” he said.

Mr Dunn pointed to text messages between the pair immediately afterwards when she made arrangements for Agresti to collect his watch.

And he drew attention to an agreement between the pair to not tell anyone.

“These two people reached an agreement that what they had done would be kept a secret,” he said.

“Is that the comment of somebody who thinks they have been assaulted, abused, or is that a person who’s had friendly contact?”

He suggested she had raised the issue because of rumours about her and Agresti.

“Her defence to the rumours is that I was drunk,” Mr Dunn said.

“She didn’t like being described as a stargazer, or starfish … or a bad root.

“Regretting sex when you have been drinking is not rape.”

Agresti ‘knew of victim’s intoxication’

But Ms Christensen said Agresti showed a consciousness of guilt, telling the first person he saw despite agreeing to keep the encounter secret.

“What the accused is doing in his evidence is attempting to shift the blame,” she said.

“Mr Agresti will have you believe she was the one who initiated it.”

Ms Christensen said he knew about her level of intoxication and that she was so drunk she could not respond.

“He described those sex acts in those crude words because he wanted to show off to his mates,” she said.

“He knows he has just had sex with a woman who was too drunk.”

Mr Dunn told the jury his client had not been that cunning.

“If he thought he’d done nothing wrong why did he tell the first person he saw?” he asked.

It is the second time Agresti has been tried for the crime.

Topics: courts-and-trials, law-crime-and-justice, canberra-2600, act, australia

First posted November 16, 2017 17:46:16

‘Diversity is a wonderful thing’: Carrie Graf celebrates marriage survey result

As a champion player and acclaimed basketball coach, Carrie Graf knows a thing or two about how life can turn on big moments.

The mother-of-three watched at home in Ainslie as Australians learned of overwhelming support for same-sex marriage laws on Wednesday – quietly sending a text message to her partner Camille Chicheportiche, who was taking their seven-month-old for a walk.

“So, should we get married?”

Graf says she felt more emotional at the result than she’d expected.

“It was a wonderful, positive result and I think it speaks to the legal right for our family and our partnership as a couple to be recognised with respect and equality,” she said.

“I think they’re really important aspects for us in raising our kids, that they see that our family is one that has equal rights.”

Together the former Canberra Capitals coach and Chicheportiche are raising four-year-old twins Charli and Bentley, and seven-month-old Soli, meaning a future wedding remains some time off.

“Personally, my sexuality wasn’t part of who I was as a sporting professional and the only reason I came out publicly was because we’d had kids and I felt it was important for them to see that for us as their parents,” Graf said.

“To imagine that when they’re in high school it will not be an issue at all, and our family would be viewed as just like any other, be it a same-sex couple, a single parent family, a combined family, or one with children who are adopted.

“Diversity is a wonderful thing and I hope it will be quite normal for them as children of a same-sex couple.”

The seven-time championship-winner said Australia’s sporting organisations had played a key role in making the case for same-sex marriage during the heated public debate.

“Often people talk about the role of sporting organisations and political messages and I think it’s one of the powers of sport, that it can unite people and unite nations and help show they stand for something.

“Athletes, administrators and coaches in sport know there are people of the LGBTIQ community in all sports.

“I respected the organisations that took a stand to say they see equality for people that are part of their sports as an important issue.”

For now, the couple are keeping their excitement in-check and waiting for federal Parliament to seal the deal.

They celebrated at home on Wednesday night.

“In years gone by I’m sure we would have been down at Lonsdale Street or whatever, but for us, with our kids, it’s very much a family celebration now.”

“My mum arrived today from Melbourne so we’ll have a family ‘yes’ party tonight at home,” she said.

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74 per cent of Canberrans vote Yes in SSM survey

Updated November 15, 2017 15:21:19

The ACT has recorded the highest Yes vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey compared to any other state or territory.

About 74 per cent of Canberrans voted in favour of same-sex marriage, compared to a national average of 61.6 per cent.

The figure was the same across the electorates of Canberra and Fenner.

Canberrans were also more likely to have their say, recording the highest participation rate.

Hundreds of Canberrans gathered in Haig Park in the city for the Big Gay Out community picnic and there were tears, hugs and applause as the results were announced.

Many people kissed their partners as the song Love is in the Air burst from the speakers and champagne corks were popped.

Isabel Moore said today marked not only a step forward for Australia but for her own family’s acceptance of her sexuality.

“My grandmother is opposed to same-sex marriage, but today I found her ironing my flag to wear to this celebration,” Ms Moore said.

“She couldn’t in good conscious vote Yes [because of her personal views] but I think in the end she wants to see me happy.”

‘I’ll remember this moment forever’

Mother-of-two Sarah Davies said the result brought a slight relief to several of her LGBTI friends who became depressed over the past few months as Australia debated their future.

“I’ve been very worried about them, but I am so happy with today’s result,” she said.

“For the rest of my life I’ll remember sitting here with my kids and knowing they’re likely to grow up marrying whoever they want.”

For Naomi, who first proposed to her partner Nina just three days into their relationship more than a decade ago — “when you know, you know,” she said — the results represented a huge milestone.

“We’ve got two kids, aged six and eight, who are thankfully completely oblivious to this debate,” she said.

“It’s really warming to know we live in a place that had the highest [yes vote] in the country.”

‘There’s been a few tears’

Minutes after the announcement, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr fought back tears as he spoke about hearing the results. “There’s been a few tears,” he said.

“There are moments in our lives where something really dramatic and significant happens in public life that collides with your personal experience.”

Mr Barr became Australia’s first openly gay state or territory leader in 2014, and has keenly advocated for the legalisation of same-sex marriage since he entered politics in 2006.

He told those who voted yes they had “made a massive difference to the lives of thousands of people”.

“I never had any doubts, we’ve always been an engaged and progressive community,” he said.

When asked if he and his partner Anthony Toms would tie the knot, Mr Barr joked that it was “a question of whether he’ll say yes”.

“At some point later we’ll have that conversation. We had our civil partnership on our 10th anniversary … [and] we’ve just celebrated our 18th anniversary,” he said.

“So maybe we’ll look for something on our 20th.”

Rainbow roundabout for Canberra

Mr Barr also said public art would be commissioned to commemorate the occasion.

“I think Canberra, as the home of the roundabout, definitely needs a rainbow roundabout in the heart of the city,” he said.

Mr Barr said he and his partner Anthony would be celebrating the results later on Lonsdale Street in Braddon, which was closed to the public for a party hosted by the Yes camp.

In a statement, the Canberra Liberals congratulated all Australians who voted and expressed support for a robust and vigorous democracy that encourages wide participation in public debate.

But Opposition Leader Alistair Coe reiterated his concerns over the ACT Government’s financial involvement in the Yes campaign.

“While many Canberrans supported the Yes vote, many of these same supporters did not support the ACT Government’s use of taxpayers’ money to fund one side of the campaign,” Mr Coe said.

Mr Coe was major party leader to oppose the vote.

The Catholic Archbiship of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse, was disappointed with the outcome.

He said if same-sex marriage went on to be legalised, the religious beliefs of those opposed to the change must be protected.

“Many of them may find this very difficult to take and I think their right their freedom of speech – their conscience – needs to be respected too,” he said.

In September 2013 the territory became Australia’s first jurisdiction to legalise same-sex marriage.

But the legislation was overturned three months later after the High Court ruled the laws invalid, voiding the 31 marriages that had taken place in that time.

Topics: gays-and-lesbians, federal-government, federal—state-issues, states-and-territories, canberra-2600, act

First posted November 15, 2017 12:39:49

SA Parliament attempts to pressure Prime Minister to split water and agriculture portfolios

In a rare show of unity, the South Australian Parliament will gang up on the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to try force him to split the federal agriculture and water portfolios into separate government departments.

The water portfolio was merged with the agriculture portfolio in 2015 as part of a revised Coalition agreement, at the request of the National Party.

The SA Labor Government and the Liberal Opposition have told the ABC they will both support a motion by the SA Greens to formally request Mr Turnbull separate the two portfolios.

“The water portfolio and agriculture portfolio at a commonwealth level should not be held by the same minister, the [portfolios] compete with each other,” Greens member of the Legislative Council, Tammy Franks, said.

“We need a minister to stand up for the Murray and only holds the water portfolio and not agriculture.”

The SA Greens want to capitalise on the chaos caused by the citizenship saga, which has seen the former agriculture and water minister, and Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce, step aside while he faces a by-election.

Mr Turnbull currently holds the portfolios in an acting capacity until Mr Joyce’s fate is decided on December 2.

“While Barnaby Joyce is off contesting the by-election we don’t have him in this portfolio, so it’s a great opportunity to fight for the river and for the water portfolio not to be given back to Barnaby Joyce,” Ms Franks said.

SA opposition water spokesman, David Speirs, questioned the need for the State Parliament to interfere in the Prime Minister’s Cabinet decisions, but said the Liberal Party wouldl give the motion “lukewarm support.”

“I don’t believe it is the place for a State Parliament to be telling a Prime Minister how he should construct his parliament, it’s an unusual thing to do,” Mr Speirs said.

“But we believe it’s a valuable motion and does stay quite clearly that we have concerns about the current administration of the river.”

In July the major political parties and independents in South Australia made a joint declaration, calling for an independent judicial inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin, following allegations of water theft in New South Wales and mismanagement of the basin.

However, this is the first time the State Parliament has united formally since those revelations, and Ms Franks said when her motion passes it would be a rare occurrence.

“I’m not sure if this method has been used very often, if at all, but the Murray is so important that it should see our whole parliament unite,” she said.

However, Mr Speirs denied his party’s support for the motion meant the SA Liberals was turning on their federal counterparts and the Prime Minister.

“I have no problem having robust conversations or disagreements if necessary, if that includes the minister for water federally, or the Prime Minister, then I’m more than happy for that,” Mr Speirs said.

SA water minister Ian Hunter said the State Government would also support the motion, guaranteeing its passing, and labelled it a “commonsense proposition.”

“It takes the policy position back to what it was under the Howard Government when Malcom Turnbull was the Minister for Environment and Water Resources,” Mr Hunter said.

“That separation of agriculture and water portfolio had been constant until the Nationals strong-armed the portfolio off the Liberals in 2015.”

“We understand the Prime Minister is in a tight spot and relies on a one seat majority in the Federal Parliament, and he’s essentially been blackmailed [by the Nationals] to hand over the keys to all the goodies.

“But we think he needs to take a broader view, that is respect for the whole Murray, and if he doesn’t act, then all South Australians will have the right to judge him very harshly.”

The motion will go to Parliament on Wednesday, and once it passes both houses of Parliament, it will see the president of South Australia’s Legislative Council issue the demand in a letter to the prime minister.

Ms Franks said she believes South Australian’s want to see the prime minister action the request, and rejection it will frustrate his state counterparts.

“You would have a lot of grumpy Liberal MPS who wouldn’t be impressed with the leadership of Mr Turnbull.”

Bunnings Fyshwick staff to be relocated to new store at Majura Park

The Bunnings Warehouse in Fyshwick will close when the hardware store opens on the site of the former Masters Home Improvement Store at Majura Park near Canberra airport.

As reported earlier this month, Bunnings was working to finalise an agreement for the former Masters site.

It is understood workers have been told the Fyshwick site will close. Bunnings did not confirm a closing date.

A spokesman for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association said the union was working with staff members who been told about the move from Fyshwick to the airport.

It was working to ensure all staff who wanted to make the move remained employed and was also working with staff who wanted to move to other locations.

In August last year, Home Consortium announced the acquisition of 61 Masters properties and indicated a number would be repositioned as Bunnings, but did not confirm whether the Canberra store was among them.

Bunnings would not confirm the move and was not able to give an opening date for the new site.

Bunnings has 326 stores across Australia, four of which are in the ACT: in Fyshwick, Gungahlin, Belconnen and Tuggeranong.

‘Teach him to come at me’: Canberra man killed neighbour in ‘frenzied’ attack

A Canberra killer who stabbed his neighbour to death plunged the knife through the man’s neck with such force the blade hit the tiled floor beneath him.

“I f—ing stabbed him,” Scott Jamie Cole, 42, later told police. “I hope he’s dead.” 

Cole slashed his own arms and face to make it look like he’d been attacked in the deadly confrontation with his neighbour Jason Hollingshed, 46, at Stuart Flats in Griffith the afternoon of February 29, 2016. 

Hollingshed, who sometimes washed car windows on Northbourne Avenue, suffered wounds to his face, neck, arms and torso.

He died of blood loss. 

Cole was arrested when police were called to the Light Street public housing complex, where the men lived in neighbouring units, about 4.30pm. He pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to murder.

Prosecutors argued he should serve a lengthy sentence for the “ferocious” and “frenzied” stabbing attack, but stopped short of urging a life behind bars.

“This was a violent, brutal stabbing murder on a vulnerable victim in his own home,” prosecutor Margaret Jones said. 

Fresh details of the killing emerged for the first time in court on Monday. A police statement of facts said the neighbours were friends before their relationship soured in the months before the killing. 

Cole had taken a dose of methadone, five valium tablets and had been drinking alcohol in a neighbour’s apartment when he went back to his unit and Mr Hollingshed questioned him about a broken screen door.

He yelled, “What the f— happened to my door?”, to which Cole replied he didn’t know.

The pair argued before Cole went back to his unit and grabbed a kitchen knife with a 20-centimetre blade. 

He stormed upstairs and attacked Mr Hollingshed, plunging the knife into his neck, arms and torso as he fell to the ground. Cole continued to stab him forcefully in the neck. 

Neighbours arrived to find Mr Hollingshed on the ground in a pool of blood and making gurgling sounds. They told Cole to phone police. 

Instead, he went back to his unit where he washed the knife and put it back in a drawer.

He removed his bloodied clothes and put them in the laundry basket before he cut his arms and face to make it look like he’d been attacked by the victim. 

Police soon arrived and Cole asked them if “the maggot” was dead. “Is he dead? I hope he’s f—in’ dead. Teach him to come at me.”

He was arrested and later admitted to the killing. Cole told police he “did the right thing” and “that guy deserved everything he f—ing got”. 

He said he “took someone’s life today” and he didn’t “f—ing want to do it again”. 

Cole admitted he had “a barrage” of drugs in his system that day and described going into the victim’s apartment with the knife before the attack. He said “his eyes just went real big, shit himself”.

“Went boom, boom, pumped him about three or four times in the guts. So I pumped him in the sternum and I pumped him three times through the neck.”

Ms Jones told the sentence hearing Cole’s comments to police showed “justification and boasting” and “extreme callousness” towards his victim.

She said the offence showed little premeditation but had not been entirely spontaneous, arguing Cole had an “opportunity to stop and consider his actions”.

The court was told Cole had a long history of violent offences, many involving knives. 

Ms Jones argued the murder was in the upper end of seriousness but said the case did not warrant the maximum penalty.

Defence barrister Steven Whybrow​ acknowledged Cole had “violently and viciously” murdered Mr Hollingshed in his home but said the offence was mid-range seriousness. He said there had been no previous history of violence between the pair. 

The court heard Cole had a “very unfortunate upbringing” and started using drugs and drinking alcohol when he ran away from his broken childhood home at 15. 

Mr Whybrow said Cole had been diagnosed with mental illness and his drug problems were unaddressed. He noted the offender had not taken part in treatment or programs in custody. 

Ms Jones argued there were no prospects of rehabilitation and the offender posed a risk to the community if released. 

Lawyers and the prosecution remain at odds over whether Cole had torn off Mr Hollingshed’s screen door shortly before the killing. 

Justice John Burns will sentence Cole next month.

Former ADFA cadet faces retrial for allegedly raping woman after night out

Updated November 13, 2017 16:31:33

Former Australian Defence Force Academy cadet Harlan Agresti is facing trial for a second time accused of raping a colleague who was allegedly too drunk to give consent.

Agresti, 23, is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman after a night out drinking with other cadets.

The ACT Supreme Court today heard a taped interview with the alleged victim in which she said she had been drinking at two bars, when she became so drunk she realised she needed help.

“I told Agresti I could not see and I needed to go home,” the woman said.

The woman said she had tried to text another friend but could not see well enough to type the message properly.

She said her memory was intermittent with snippets, which include waking to find Mr Agresti on top of her kissing her.

“I don’t remember how that started,” she said in the interview.

“I just have snippets of memory of us having sex.”

She said the pair later agreed to keep it secret and she had resolved not to tell anyone.

“I would not under my normal character have slept with Agresti,” the woman said.

The woman said she later became annoyed when she realised other people had heard about their encounter.

Prosecutors told the jury the effect of her intoxication was so substantial she could not consent and the accused knew that was the case.

Issue whether Agresti ‘believed he had consent’

Mr Agresti’s lawyer Philip Dunn told the jury he did stupidly tell people about the encounter.

But he said the real issue was whether there was consent and whether Mr Agresti believed the woman had consented.

Mr Dunn said there were many questions about rumours about the incident which may have upset the alleged victim.

He also raised questions about the fact the woman did not report the incident for 14 months.

“Do memories alter over 14 months and does it change if you have a certain view about things?” he asked.

He said he would seek to show why the jury should have reasonable doubts about the charges.

The trial is expected to run for three or four days.

Topics: sexual-offences, law-crime-and-justice, courts-and-trials, canberra-2600, act, australia

First posted November 13, 2017 16:22:45