Defence makes final address in trial of NT police officer Patrick Carson accused of rape

The alleged victim of two sexual assaults at the hands of a Northern Territory police officer “has all the hallmarks of the most unreliable witness”, a court has heard.

Senior Sergeant Patrick Carson has pleaded not guilty to two charges of sexual intercourse without consent, accused of twice raping a young woman he befriended in 2020.

Much of the two-week trial was closed to the public and media as the complainant, who cannot be identified, gave evidence to the court.

In her closing address to the jury, defence barrister Mary Chalmers SC said the panel may find Mr Carson and the complainant “were on the cusp of an affair”, however, told them they were not to “sit in moral judgement of people’s relationships”.

“We’re all grown-ups in this room, we know that … these dalliances happen from time to time. And some of you might not approve of people having those dalliances with that particular age gap or those particular relationships, for example with a married man,” Ms Chalmers SC said.

An image of the Northern Territory Supreme Court building in Darwin.
Jurors will likely begin deliberations on Wednesday morning.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

“But they do happen and it’s really important that you remind yourselves that … you’re actually here to determine whether or not the Crown’s evidence is reliable enough to meet that standard of proof.”

Court hears of ‘secret chats’ between police officer and alleged victim

Ms Chalmers SC told the court that on the day of the first alleged incident, the complainant sent a text to a friend saying, “we really nearly stuffed things up”.

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