A convicted rapist is eligible for release from prison on April 14, 2015.
A convicted rapist is eligible for release from prison on April 14, 2015.

People need to know attacker's crime if he returns

THE victim of a rape at Lawrence and her family want to alert people to the truth about her attacker if he returns to the community at the end of his jail sentence.

On November 15 a District Court jury in Grafton found Geoffrey Raymond Collins, 43, of Lawrence, guilty of two counts of sexual intercourse without consent. The attack occurred in Lawrence on September 27, 2012.

The victim's mother said the nature of the attacks was distressing, as they occurred when her daughter was staying with a friend, where she thought she would be safe.

"He's such a meek and mild looking fellow, but when he gets behind closed doors, he's an animal," she said.

The family praised the efforts of police throughout the investigation and trial, particularly Detective Senior Constable Matt Sippel.

"Matt was really good with us right through it all," the victim's mother said.

"During the trial he came in every day, even on his day off, and was supportive of (her). She had a pretty tough time through the trial and it was good of Matt to be so supportive."

Snr Const Sippel praised the victim for her strength in reporting the attack so quickly and said this was a great help in the investigation and conviction.

"It enabled the collection of forensic evidence and establishing a crime scene while the evidence was new," he said.

"This was important in a case where the attacker was known to the victim and consent could be an issue."

On the first count Judge Wells sentenced Collins to two years in jail, expiring on January 14, 2015, with a non-parole period of 18 months. On the second count Collins was sentenced to three years' jail expiring on January 14, 2016, with a non-parole period of two years, three months. He will be eligible for release on April 14, 2015.

In addition to his jail sentence, the court ordered Collins to participate in drug, alcohol and anger management counselling when released from prison.

***BAN LIFTED

In many cases revealing the identity of the perpetrator of a sex crime can lead to people being able to identify the victim, which the court forbids. The victim and family can override this ban by giving permission for the convicted person's name to be published. The victim in this case has given The Daily Examiner written permission to publish the convicted person's name.



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