The rape case against a Northern Territory police officer has heard that the accused was spoken to by a colleague about his relationship with the alleged victim before charges of “inappropriate behavior” were raised.
- Patrick Carson has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse without consent
- The trial has been closed to the public and the media for much of the first week
- Carson is accused of assaulting a young woman with whom he became friends in 2020
Patrick Carson has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, relating to two alleged incidents with a young woman he had become friends with in 2020.
His lawyer told the jury at the beginning of the trial that the defense case would be that there was “no sexual intercourse of any description” on either of the two occasions.
She said, however, that there was no disagreement that defendants and complainants had at times been alone together.
The trial, which began last week, has to this day been closed to the public and the media.
In a statement read to the court, an acquaintance and colleague told Mr Carson, who also knew the alleged victim, that he remembered having told Mr Carson to “be careful” and not “do anything stupid”.
The witness cannot be identified to protect the identity of the alleged victim.
“I just had a feeling [the complainant] is perhaps a little in love with him and I did not want him to end up in a situation that could be difficult to explain to his wife, “it read in the statement.
“Patrick said he helped her because she did not get along with her parents.
“He assured me it was innocent [and] that he was just a little bit protective of her when she was quite immature and lacked a significant degree of self-confidence. “
The court heard Mr Carson was called to meet with the colleague and another friend outside a police context when allegations of “inappropriate behavior” were raised.
The statement said Mr Carson had been shown a series of screenshots of messages he had sent to the complainant and that he had subsequently admitted that he was “a little bit” in love with her.
“He testified that he had lost weight significantly, that a young woman had shown him some attention,” the witness statement said.
“He assured us that nothing was happening and he was embarrassed that we had been informed of the situation.”
The court heard that Mr Carson had also said that his wife had spoken to him and that he had reduced the time he spent with the alleged victim.
The court hears about alleged assault in the backyard
Earlier, the jury heard from two friends of the alleged victim, who is also unidentifiable, who told the court that the complainant had raised concerns about Mr Carson’s alleged behavior towards them.
The first witness told the court that she had suggested the complainant keep a record of her communications with Mr Carson “to protect herself in the event of anything happening”.
The court heard that the alleged victim had told the witness that Mr Carson had “striped off [her] off “and assaulted her in his backyard during a massage.
She described her friend as being “pretty hysterical” and “kind of panicked” when they spoke on the phone after the alleged incident in May 2020.
The court heard that the complainant had told the witness that she thought Mr Carson “just did not realize what he was doing” and that she had nodded when he “kept asking if it was okay” during the massage .
The witness said she had received a SnapChat image from the alleged victim on July 8, 2020, showing Mr Carson’s hand on her leg.
She told the jury: “It was the subtitle something like ‘he’s here and I do not know what to do’ or anything like that”.
The court heard that the alleged victim asked the witness to call her and “fake an emergency”.
During cross-examination of Mr Carson’s lawyer, Mary Chalmers SC, the witness agreed that she had previously described her friend as someone who “tends to exaggerate a lot”.
“Do you remember she was under investigation at some point in college?” asked Chalmers SC.
“Yes,” said the witness.
“And that’s in context [investigation] you told them she tends to exaggerate a lot? “
‘It sounded like she had cried’
Another friend of the alleged victim, who told the court that she was also acquainted with Mr Carson, said the complainant had called her on the evening of July 8, 2020 “really saddened” after leaving the complainant and Mr Carson together in a house in Darwin earlier that day.
“I could not really get many words out of her … it sounded like she had cried,” the witness said.
The court heard the witness had gone to the house to meet the alleged victim, where she told her that “Paddy had been over and they had been sitting on the couch.”
The witness said the complainant had told her that “Paddy” had “pretended to go to bed” and “put his hand in her shirt”.
The witness told the court that the complainant was “pretty desperate and stressed” when she received a text message from “Paddy” saying he was on his way back to the house to deliver food to her.
“She said she did not want to see him … we turned off all the lights and went into the back bedroom of the house,” the witness said.
The trial continues Monday.