Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Rape accused victim of 'lies' defence claims

The trial of Robert Boyd got underway at Christchurch District Court began this morning.
The 42-year-old denies raping a child under 12 at a farm on the West Coast of the South Island on July 31, 2011.
The trial of Robert Boyd got underway at Christchurch District Court began this morning. The 42-year-old denies raping a child under 12 at a farm on the West Coast of the South Island on July 31, 2011.

A West Coast farm worker who fled to Australia after allegedly raping a young girl is the victim of "lies and inconsistencies", a court heard today.

The trial of Robert Boyd got underway at Christchurch District Court began this morning.
The 42-year-old denies raping a child under 12 at a farm on the West Coast of the South Island on July 31, 2011.

He has also pleaded not guilty to three charges of sexual connection with a child under 12 between April 1 and July 20, 2011, and one charge of sexual connection with a child under 12 on July 31, 2011.

The child's identity is protected by statutory suppressions.

Crown prosecutor Claire Hislop told a jury of six women and six men that Boyd allegedly assaulted the girl on two occasions.

Both times the girl pleaded with Boyd to stop, the Crown alleges.

Afterwards, Boyd allegedly told the girl not to tell anybody about what had happened.

The girl's school later heard of the allegations and police were informed.

On August 7, 2011 Boyd was arrested.

He appeared in court and was granted electronically-monitored bail, with conditions that he stayed at a home address at all times, except for approved absences, and to his surrender passport and not to apply for a new passport.

He was allowed to go shopping every Thursday with an approved support person.
In January 2013, he applied for an extension to his approved release so he could attend a doctor's appointment.

It was approved on the condition that Boyd, who got married in August 2012 and took his wife's surname, return to his house by 7pm on January 24.

However, he fled to Christchurch where he used a passport that he obtained under his adopted wife's surname to board a flight to Sydney - four days before his trial.

Boyd was arrested by Australian Federal Police in May 2013 and extradited to New Zealand in January last year.

Ms Hislop told the jury that Boyd's attempts to flee are an "important piece of evidence".

The defence's case is simply that none of the offending happened, defence counsel Marcus Zintl told the jury.

There were major issues of credibility and reliability, he claimed, as well as "lies and inconsistencies" in the evidence.

Mr Zintl reminded the jury that Boyd must be presumed innocent and it's up to the Crown to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

The issue of Boyd skipping the country doesn't prove he committed the offences, Mr Zintl said.

There could be many reasons or explanations for people wanting to leave the country, he said, including being accused of a crime they didn't commit.

Mr Zintl closed his opening address by saying: "Please remember, there are two sides to every story."

The trial, before Judge Jane Farish, continues.

- NZ Herald

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