Former Dorrigo businessman may be ‘worst serial rapist’

A JURY took more than six hours to find yachtsman John Collins guilty of raping a young Sunshine Coast woman aboard his vessel during the 1980s.

Collins, 76, had pleaded not guilty this week in the Brisbane District Court to raping the woman aboard his yacht on February 14, 1986, while it was moored at Laurie's Marina at Kawana.

The one-day trial heard that Collins had lured the woman aboard under the guise of employment.

It is understood Collins operated several large businesses in the Dorrigo and Glen Innes region during the '70s and '80s.

APN Newsdesk can now reveal it was not the first time Collins had been before a court charged with raping a young woman aboard his yacht.

Collins has faced three separate trials over the past year for strikingly similar offences against five other women.

A police mug shot of Collins.
A police mug shot of Collins.

He was found guilty on each of those occasions.

The offences against those five women were committed aboard his yacht between 1987 and 1999 at various locations along the Queensland coast including the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Bundaberg, Mackay and the Whitsundays.

A source close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified, told APN Newsdesk that Collins could be one of Australia's worst serial rapists.

Collins is already serving an 11 years and seven months jail sentence that had taken into account his overall offending against the five women.

When sentencing Collins for raping this sixth woman, Judge Sarah Bradley said he was a predator who had preyed on vulnerable young woman.

She said Collins's offending against this victim had had a devastating and lifelong effect on her.

Judge Bradley sentenced Collins to a further 12 months behind bars, to be served after the sentence he is currently serving, increasing his overall jail term to 12 years and seven months.

He was previously declared a serious violent offender, which means he must serve at least 80% of the sentence before being eligible to apply for parole.

It is understood Collins has lodged appeals against the five previous convictions and will more than likely lodge another following the verdict in this trial.

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