Rape charged dropped as woman forgot she consented to sex

AN alcoholic woman suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and personality disorders wrongly accused a Southport man of rape after forgetting she consented to sex.

Justin Banham, 49, fronted Southport District Court yesterday, charged with raping the woman he met at a church event.

But Banham ultimately pleaded guilty to common assault after Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes withdrew the rape charge of rape.

Prosecutors spoke to the woman and negotiated with Banham's defence, led by barrister Peter Nolan.

Mr Hynes told the court Banham and the woman had been friends for several years and met "occasionally for sex".

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On October 8, 2017 Banham entered the woman's Helensvale home with a remote she had given him.

The woman asked Banham over after a previous fight but forgot the invitation, leading to an argument.

Banham pushed the woman "backwards on to the couch, which hurt her back", forming the basis of the assault charge, the court was told.

The pair had consensual sex soon after, but the woman approached police the next day to complain of rape.

Banham was charged and lost his job as an Uber driver.

Mr Hynes said the woman's post-traumatic stress and personality disorders meant "incidences with men, whereby consensual sex can occur, she can transplant previous memories on to that".

"She has a high-functioning alcoholism issue whereby she consumes a fair bit of alcohol every day, and that plays a part into her mental health and her mind and state and perception of things," he said. "It also plays a part in why she might forget things at times."

Banham, a driver for a property developer, has no previous criminal history.

In defence, Mr Nolan said Banham had "no recollection" of the assault, but pleaded guilty to save the woman from facing the witness box.

The rape charge was originally going to trial this week.

Mr Nolan said Banham had found it "extremely difficult" having the charge hang over his head.

Judge Catherine Muir said the woman had a "false impression" of events.

Banham walked from court on a $300 good behaviour recognisance for one year.