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17th February 2017, 17:00

Closing arguments heard in child sexual assault case

A 71-year-old local man facing charges of sexual offences against a young child took to the stand on Friday. He denied all charges. The judge is expected to ask the jury to consider it’s verdict on Monday.

Frederick Parody is on trial for two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13. The remaining charges of oral rape of a child under the age of thirteen and assisting a child under the age of thirteen were today dropped by the courts with Puisne Judge Karen Rammage Prescott stating she would advise the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

The defendant, has no previous convictions. He claims the child was manipulated into making the statement against him, stating "I couldn't believe someone could make false allegations against me when I had done so much for the family".

During closing arguments prosecution lawyer Robert Fischel QC stated “not one solitary witness has said this girl is prone to exaggeration, even the defendant himself said that she always tells the truth.” He asked the jury’ “So, is the defendant lying to you?”

Defence Lawyer, Felicity Gerry QC, urged the court to decide the case on the evidence, not speculation. She highlighted a note dated soon after the initial allegations where Police said they felt the child was being pressured to complain. She said the prosecution case is one assertion from a young child that she was sexually assaulted but this was not supported by evidence; and when questioned in court via video link, the 7 year old girl could not remember the alleged incident. 

The trial is expected to conclude on Monday.