A married couple are accused of sexually abusing an underage teenager over a three-year period.
A married couple are accused of sexually abusing an underage teenager over a three-year period.

Trial for pair accused of child sexual abuse wrapping up

FINAL submissions in the trial against a married couple accused of sexually abusing an underage teenager over a three-year period have been heard by a jury in Lismore District Court.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are both facing eight charges each in relation to allegations they sexually abused a child between the late 1980s and early 1990s in East Lismore, Murwillumbah and other locations.

They have both pleaded not guilty to all charges, including the primary charge of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child and having sexual intercourse with person aged 10 years or over and under 16 years.

It was alleged the first sexual intercourse with the child began when the complainant was 13 and they were babysitting at the couple's East Lismore home in late 1989.

The pair then allegedly continued to have sexual intercourse with the child at different occasions either in the presence of each other or individually.

Crown prosecutor Joshua Hanna in his final submissions to the court said the jury has heard during the two-week trial plenty of evidence from both the complainant, the accused and other witnesses.

Mr Hanna said the complainant "was clear about things she did remember and clear about things she didn't remember" while giving evidence during the trial.

"There were some of the events, the ones that stand out in mind, she was able to give very vivid details of particular incidents," he said.

"Including the variety of the sexual acts the two accused preferred, the intimate details about them and what they did together.

"There are other details she gives shown in the other evidence, things like the scar on (the accused 54-year-old woman's chest)."

But the accused woman's defence barrister William Tuckey said his client had on many occasions worn clothing, including at her own wedding in 1991, that displayed the described scar.

He said the jury should take into consideration the complainant had never mentioned the appendix scar his client had, which would only be visible while naked.

The court also heard the complainant in 1992 had been treated for chlamydia and herpes, which she claimed she had contracted eight months prior to seeing a doctor and would have occurred during the time she was having sexual intercourse with one or two of the accused.

However, the medical records confirming the details of the consult were lost during the 2017 floods and the court was told by the doctor who treated the complainant they would have alerted the authorities had they'd been told a child was having sexual intercourse with an adult.

But the 61-year-old man's defence barrister Daniel McMahon said the complainant was treated for the sexually transmitted disease after "the relationships ended" with the accused.

"There is no evidence the accused has ever had or been treated for chlamydia or an STD," Mr McMahon said.

Judge Jeffrey McLennan will be summing up the trial to the jury on Wednesday at 10am in the Lismore District Court.