Duo charged over historic abuse of 13-year-old
A DUO are facing historic allegations of sexual assault against a young girl.
Paul and Narelle Crowhurst, aged 60 and 53, are facing a host of charges alleging abuse on the girl, when she was aged 13 in East Lismore and Evans Head.
Mr Crowhurst is facing seven charges of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 16 in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Ms Crowhurst is facing four counts of the same charge.
Neither of the accused, who now live in the Logan City suburb of Boronia Heights in Queensland, have entered any pleas.
The duo did not appear before Lismore Local Court on Tuesday but were both represented by solicitor Alexander Angel-Graham.
Prosecutor Peter Woods said the matter had been referred to charge certification, which would allow the accused to be arraigned.
Mr Woods said further charges of assaulting or attempting to assault a child under 10 with intent to have sexual intercourse may be laid.
He said this would be subject to a further interview with the complainant.
"Before that charge can be laid, your honour, we need to further interview the complainant," Mr Woods told Magistrate David Heilpern.
Mr Woods said the prosecution would need to "provide more details of the particulars to the accused".
"I think it's only fair to the accused they have a clear understanding (of the allegations)," he said.
Mr Angel-Graham, however, told the court there were grounds to have the matters discharged, as the prosecution had taken too long to certify the charges against his clients.
He cited a section of the Criminal Procedure Act which allows for this if a certain deadline is not met.
Mr Heilpern agreed the matter was "out of time", but referred to a recent decision of his own, in which he found "the interest of justice" was best served if the case remained before the courts, but the prosecution paid the defendant's costs in part to make up for a significant delay.
"I must discharge unless it's in the interest of justice not to," he said.
"In that case I found that the interest of justice mitigated in favour of extending service of charge certification."
Mr Heilpern said a key issue was whether a case was "on the rails", which he believed it was in this instance.
He said other factors included whether someone was refused bail or under "extremely onerous bail conditions".
The court heard the accused were not in custody, but not subject to bail conditions.
"Particularly with these sorts of charges and where the matter is on the rails... I think there's some hurdle for the defence," Mr Heilpern said.
Mr Angel-Graham said the prosecution had "ample time to investigate" the allegations.
Mr Heilpern reserved a decision on costs and adjourned the matter to March 5.
The balance of the police brief of evidence is due to be filed one week prior.