Retrial ordered in high-profile rape case
A FORMER top Cairns executive convicted of raping a Norwegian tourist he picked up on the side of the road will face a retrial after a court ruled he had suffered a "miscarriage of justice" in his original trial.
Alan George Vico, who has subsequently left his almost $290,000 per year job with Ports North, was found guilty in a judge only trial last year of sexually assaulting the young woman in a Cairns motel in September 2018.
Judge Julie Dick sentenced him to five-and-a-half years jail for the "predatory" rape after the court heard he picked the drunk woman up in Cairns North and drove her to a motel in Earlville.
Mr Vico launched an appeal against both the conviction and the sentence, arguing Judge Dick's decision was "not supported by the evidence" and the sentence was "manifestly excessive".
The Court of Appeal handed down its decision on Friday morning, with a judgment saying there were "deficiencies" in Judge Dick's reasoning and a retrial was ordered.
"These deficiencies in the trial Judge's reasons are significant as the trial Judge's
findings of guilt specifically relied upon each of these actions as constituting post
offence conduct demonstrative of a consciousness of guilt," Justice David Boddice said in the judgment.
"Against that background, there is a real and appreciable risk that the appellant has been denied a fair chance of acquittal, such that there has been a miscarriage of justice."
Mr Vico had been incarcerated at Lotus Glen Correctional Centre following his conviction, but had to be hospitalised in September last year after allegedly being bashed by another inmate.
A date for the retrial is yet to be set.
Originally published as Retrial ordered in high-profile Cairns rape case