18 Year Old Charged on Two Counts of Sexual Assault

An eighteen-year-old young man had been charged on two counts of sexually assaulting the six year old grandchild of his foster father.

The young man's mother was an alcoholic and he was born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome which resulted in an unusual facial appearance, deficiency in his physical growth and cognitive impairment.

The intermediary found that the young man had very poor attention and verbal comprehension. He was extremely anxious about going to court and had little understanding of the court process. The intermediary recommended that he should not have to stand in the dock throughout the trial and the judge agreed to this. The intermediary stayed with him throughout the trial explaining what was happening and what the evidence meant. The intermediary had noted that he was very eager to please, had limited understanding and was easily confused. The judge agreed that he should not be asked "leading questions" and that all questions should be simple and "concrete" and asked in chronological order. The young man replied confidently when he was cross-examined.