A woman allegedly raped by a high profile man wants the defendant named, as lawyers for the man fight to keep a court-imposed order preventing their client from being named in place.
The sudden turn follows media outlets, including NCA NewsWire, seeking the removal of a non-publication order, which would allow the man’s identity to be published following a major overhaul of Queensland laws.
Police charged the man with two counts of rape in January.
It is alleged they stem from an incident in Toowoomba in October 2021.
Earlier this month, Queensland parliament changed a key piece of legislation that prevented the identification of those charged with rape or sexual assault offences prior to their committal.
But the man’s lawyers successfully applied to the Supreme Court for a non-publication order preventing their client from being named days before the change kicked in.
His legal team and lawyers acting for the media outlets faced Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Friday, where the man’s legal team argued the order should stay in place.
Barrister Andrew Hoare, acting for the high-profile man, said there was a “real existing risk of harm” to his client if his identity were to be published.
He said the man suffered from “severe” suicidal ideation that had manifested over years.
Mr Hoare said his client could be in grave danger of attempting self-harm, which he submitted necessitated the order continuing.
But Robert Anderson KC, representing the media outlets, said the high profile man had not given evidence before the court, instead relying on his solicitors and his psychologist.
He noted the man was prepared to go public with certain statements but was “unprepared” to face the court and give evidence himself.
Mr Anderson said the defendant had “no automatic right to protection” under the recent amendments to the legislation.
“The complainant’s voice is important to be heard,” he said.
“She wants the defendant to be named. It is not neutral, it is an active voice.”
Mr Anderson referred to several public statements given by the high-profile man.
“There is an incredulity between the applicant’s public presentation and what is said by … (his) doctor,” he said.
“It was irreconcilable.
“The applicant has not said anything to Your Honour directly. He has chosen to stay silent.”
Mr Anderson submitted the defendant was ready to speak his own truth but was still asking this court to prevent the public from knowing who he is and prevent open justice.
He also said the man was attempting to deny the complainant’s voice.
“He has voluntarily placed himself in a very public forum, in a way that will inevitably expose and require him to explain … all of his circumstances,” Mr Anderson said.
“His lawyers have told him to stay quiet, he has refused that advice.
“He wants to be heard – everywhere except here.”
The hearing continues.