Classic he said, she said case

EMMA HORSLEY
Last updated 12:00 23/11/2012

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The defence lawyer in a rape trial has described the Crown's case as flimsy, with as much substance as a house of cards.

Army private Devon Dwayne Fraser, 21, is accused of raping a fellow soldier at Linton army barracks after a night of drinking in March 2010.

His defence lawyer Fergus Steedman said in his closing statement to a jury at Palmerston North District Court yesterday the accusation was laid because the female soldier was afraid her boyfriend was going to find out she had cheated on him. Several people had seen her "making out and hooking up" with his client in High Flyers nightclub and back at Linton, Mr Steedman said.

He said the sex was consensual after St Patrick's Day celebrations and she had got herself caught up in a web of lies which she could not unravel.

"Her best friend entered the room when they were having sex and asked her if she was OK. She said nothing."

He said the young woman had argued with her boyfriend who was in Christchurch because he had not wanted her to go out that night and she had admitted she was angry with him.

"The prosecution's case is like a hollow house of cards and one poke will see it come tumbling down."

The Crown alleges Fraser pursued the female soldier, entered a female barrack block and would not take no for an answer.

"A kiss is not a contract," said Crown prosecutor Esme Killeen.

"He knew she didn't want to have sex but he didn't care. He was in control."

Ms Killeen said there were holes in Fraser's evidence which was self-serving and the situation "was a classic he said, she said".

Mr Steedman said Fraser's life was held in the jury's hands and a guilty outcome could destroy his future.

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- Manawatu Standard

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