Wife backs Kelly's claim of innocence

By Court Reporter

The wife of a soldier charged with performing indecent acts on two 13-year-olds yesterday gave evidence supporting her husband.

Brian John Kelly, 43, is on trial in the Whanganui District Court for charges including indecent acts, unlawful sexual connection and rape. He denies all nine charges.

His wife, Kelly Cupples, yesterday gave evidence saying he was a "great man, a generous man, my rock, a loving husband and brilliant father".

She said she had seen nothing to suggest her husband had behaved inappropriately toward anyone on the night he is alleged to have indecently assaulted one girl and indecently assaulted and raped the other.

When spoken to by police in December 2011, five months after the event, she said she had watched the chief complainant "bounce" up to her husband for a goodbye hug the next day.

"I said to him 'if a girl has been raped, there is no way she could come round happy the next day and hug the man'," Ms Cupples said.

She also confirmed there had been a discussion about her husband's vasectomy the day of the alleged incident, and that both complainants had been present for that.

Earlier in the day Kelly, under cross-examination from Crown prosecutor Megan Jacquiery, told the court he never gave police a statement as a lawyer he called had advised against it.

He also disputed evidence given by the chief complainant's mother that she had seen him leave the room he allegedly raped the girl in.

"It was cold, it was dark, it had been closed up all day - she's mistaken, or she may be saying it to protect her daughter," he said.

Other witnesses called by defence counsel Michele Wilkinson-Smith included Kelly's brother-in-law and his commanding officer from the NZ Army, both of whom saw no inappropriate behaviour by Kelly on the night in question.

Ms Jacquiery said this was not a case of a fantasy gone out of control on the part of the chief complainant but of a 41-year-old man taking advantage of a sexually-inexperienced 13-year-old girl.

"Why put herself through an invasive examination at the hospital, police interviews on camera, counselling which is still going on two years later? Why put herself through this ... because it's true."

She said there was a possibility DNA found in the chief complainant's bra was from Kelly, and that the most important evidence was that of the witnesses.

"It is up to you to decide how credible the witnesses are. Apply your common sense to what you've heard and remember there were only two people in that room."

Mrs Wilkinson-Smith said the evidence provided by the chief complainant's friend was "rubbish" and not corroborated by anyone.

She also reminded the jury that the chief complainant's mother had pressured her into making a complaint to police, and that the story of that complaint changed each time it was told.

"The changes in [complainant 2's] story, the inconsistencies of [complainant 1], not describing any pain to the doctor, lying about knowing what a vasectomy is ... it just does not add up," Mrs Wilkinson-Smith said.

Judge Fred McElrea will sum up this morning before the jury retires to deliberate.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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