WARNING: This story contains graphic detail.
The trial of a 35-year-old Ballarat man accused of raping his wife continued in the County Court on Tuesday.
The man, who The Courier has chosen not to name in order to protect the identity of the complainant and the children, is accused of raping his wife of 10 years in February 2017, during what was described in court as an “acrimonious” marriage breakdown.
In court on Tuesday, a Visual and Audio Recording of Evidence (VARE) of an interview with one of the couple’s children, recorded on 9 February 2017, and a special recording with the child before Judge Bill Stuart from 6 September 2018, were both played for the 13-person jury.
In his evidence, the primary-school aged child described an incident on Tuesday, 7 February 2017, when he witnessed his father “push his mother down on the bed and pull her pants down”, saying he had seen the accused “putting his rude finger up mum’s b**m”.
The child testified that he heard his mother saying “no” and “get off me”.
The child said both parents had been at the family’s former home, where his father still lived at the time, for a meeting with real estate agents in preparation for the house sale.
The child testified that he was outside with his siblings and had witnessed his father and mother through a window.
He said he discovered both the front door and side doors locked but that he had “run around the back” and had come in through the unlocked laundry door.
“I seen it happen twice,” the child said, saying once inside he had observed the accused pushing his mother down on the bed and that he had run in, giving his father “a fright” and that the accused “looked in a shock.”
Asked how he knew his father was “in a shock”, the boy demonstrated a facial expression.
The child was cross examined by defence barrister, Alan Hands who said “I’m suggesting that you didn’t see what you said ... and that you are saying something untrue to support your mother?”, to which the boy emphatically replied that he was telling the truth.
During the VARE interview, the child had been asked to draw a sketch of the house and he was later asked to draw in and circle where he was when he witnessed the alleged offending. The sketch and a photo of the house were provided to jury members.
The court also heard evidence from two other witnesses for the prosecution, including a woman who said the complainant had called her on her mobile about 8.30pm that night in February 2017, saying the accused “had tried to rape her and had put his fingers inside her”.
Asked by Crown prosecutor David O’Doherty for her account, she said the complainant had told her that one of the children had walked in and had said “don’t hurt my mum.” She said she had advised the complainant to go to the police station and had later helped with the children.
Under cross-examination, Mr Hands suggested to the witness that she had been a friend of the complainant for a long time and that she also had been through a difficult separation herself and “knew what to do”.
“You were of some assistance to her during her separation,” he said.
In earlier evidence, the court was told the accused man digitally and sexually penetrated the woman, without her consent, over three days. The accused has pleaded not guilty to all charges
The trial will continue in the County Court on Wednesday.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.