Mum heard daughter's yahct rape claims in phone call

THE mother of a woman who claims she was raped on a yacht while it was moored at a Queensland marina in the late 90s said her daughter told her in a phone call details of what had occurred.

Yachtsman John Collins, 76, pleaded not guilty this week in the Brisbane District Court to sexual assault and rape offences stemming from his interactions with the woman between December 1, 1999 and February 1, 2000.

The court heard Collins had placed an advertisement in a newspaper seeking the services of a young woman to help care for a child while they travelled the high seas.

But according to the Crown it was all a ruse to lure the young woman aboard the yacht.

Collins claims the interactions with the woman were consensual.

The mother, who cannot be identified in order to protect her daughter's identity, said on Tuesday her daughter told her in a phone conversation in the days after the incident she believed she had been raped.

"I cannot remember exactly word-for-word what my daughter said to me on the phone," she said.

"But she told me she had been raped.

"You have to remember this happened in early 2000. . . we were not asked to make a formal statement until 2007.

"That is seven years later."

Former Sunday Mail journalist Ian Haberfield told the court he interviewed the woman in early 2000 after "correspondence" about the incident found its way onto his desk.

Mr Haberfield, who currently works for the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, said he did not know if the incident had been reported to police at that stage.

"I interviewed the woman and my story was published in the Sunday Mail on January 23, 2000," he said.

"She went into detail about what occurred on the yacht.

Mr Haberfield told the court he had taken notes and recorded the interview, but could not locate them.

He agreed the woman had said, which was conveyed in the article, that she was not drunk, only tipsy, and had returned to work aboard the yacht the day after the incident.

The trial continues.


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