Sheran Fernando leaves the court during the trial.
Sheran Fernando leaves the court during the trial. 7 Local News

NOT GUILTY: Jury acquits real estate man of sex charges

TOOWOOMBA real estate identity Sheran Fernando left the city's District Court this afternoon a relieved man after being found not guilty of five sex charges including attempted rape.

At the start of the four-day trial, Fernando, 37, had pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

The Crown claimed he had inappropriately touched a young woman on the bottom and breasts at different times at his Toowoomba office and the home of the complainant and at a nightclub after a real estate awards evening in Brisbane in August and September 2014.

The woman claimed the 37-year-old had locked her in a room of a vacant unit of a complex to which he had access through his real estate business on September 24, 2014.

She told the court Fernando had tried to kiss her then, after taking off some of his clothes, tried to rip off her stockings and underpants before rubbing his naked body up against her in a "dry hump" motion.

Fernando also gave evidence during the trial and refuted the allegations, telling the court none of the allegations against him had taken place.

Under cross examination by Crown prosecutor David Jones, Fernando said he had never shown his genital region to the complainant woman nor had he described it to her.

Mr Jones submitted that the complainant woman must have guessed correctly as she was somehow able to accurately describe particular features of Fernando's genital region including that he had a shaven pubic area.

By its verdicts in finding Fernando not guilty on all five charges, the jury of seven men and five women obviously didn't believe the complainant woman's evidence.

The jury had retired to consider a verdict just before 5pm on Wednesday and continued until 8.45pm at which time Judge Deborah Richards sent them home for the night.

The jury continued deliberations throughout Thursday, returning to court just after midday to say they couldn't reach consensus.

Judge Richards said she could have discharged the jury at that point but urged them to continue their discussions in the hope that they might be able to reach a verdict.

About 4.30pm the jury returned to the court to bring down not guilty verdicts on all five charges.


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