A judge has handed down a damning decision against a former top executive, who was found guilty of the terrifying rape of a backpacker.
A judge has handed down a damning decision against a former top executive, who was found guilty of the terrifying rape of a backpacker.

Sickening acts: How rapist tried to cover his trail

FORMER Ports North executive Alan George Vico showed a "consciousness of guilt" after he picked a Norwegian backpacker up from the side of a Cairns road, drove her to a motel room and raped her.

The 54-year-old will be sentenced on Thursday over the terrifying incident after Judge Julie Dick handed down damning reasons while finding him guilty of rape in the Cairns District Court.

Vico, who was a general manager at Ports North earning almost $290,000 a year, left his job following the trial.

He has been remanded in custody ahead of his sentencing on Thursday.

Judge Dick labelled him as not a "credible or reliable witness" who "indulged in various actions constitution post offence conduct, which demonstrated a consciousness of guilt".

Judge Julie Dick found former Ports North executive Alan Vico guilty of rape. Picture: Philip Norrish
Judge Julie Dick found former Ports North executive Alan Vico guilty of rape. Picture: Philip Norrish

Vico was on his way home from work on September 20, 2018 when he collected the 20-year-old tourist on the side of Sheridan St in Cairns North, drove her to an Earlville motel 6km in the opposite direction and sexually assaulted her.

She was heavily intoxicated, having been in town partying with friends during a weekend trip to Cairns, and woke up alone and naked in the motel room with no memory of how she got there.

Judge Dick said she would not have had the "cognitive capacity" to give consent.

During the two-day judge only trial in June the court heard she found an empty condom packet, a $20 note and a motel room key beside the bed with her clothes scattered around the room.

Vico gave an interview to police and claimed he was trying to "help" the woman after picking her up and was "caring" for her at the motel.

Police found three used condoms in the rubbish at his house, which had traces of both their DNA.

CCTV footage played to the court during the trial showed the pair arriving at the motel just after midnight and Judge Dick said it was "clear" the victim was unsteady on her feet.

"It also appears that the defendant is holding her by the upper arm and guiding her towards the motel," she said.

Via the intercom Vico booked in and was asked if they needed separate beds, to which he responded they were "happy to share".

He was also asked whether he would require a late checkout and replied: "that will be for my buddy to work out. I'll be gone."

He was seen leaving the room about four hours later.

Judge Dick said Vico's efforts to "distance himself" from them having sex, asserting the victim was coherent, claiming the last time he had sex was with his partner the night prior and removing the condoms from the motel room amounted to a guilty conscience.

"Having considered all the evidence, I am left with no reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused," she said.

"I find that the prosecution has proved the element of lack of consent beyond reasonable doubt."

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

Originally published as Sickening acts: How rapist tried to cover his trail



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