A JUDGE has directed the jury of a rape trial to return a 'not guilty' verdict after finding the interviewing skills of a Gladstone policeman incompetent.
The trial, which accused a man of raping a 14-year-old girl, commenced yesterday morning just before lunch and concluded around 3.30pm.
The man was alleged to have raped the girl on September 8, 2010, at a property in Yarwun.
He pleaded not guilty to the offence.
Yesterday, the jury of eight men and four women were shown a pre-recorded interview between a Gladstone policeman and the girl, filmed two days after the alleged rape.
During the interview, the girl claimed the man "fingered" her and "put himself into me" while she was lying on her side faced away from him on a mattress.
The interviewing policeman asked the girl if she consented to the act, to which she failed to issue a direct reply. The policeman did not revisit the question.
He also failed to ask questions about the alleged rape itself, such as how the man managed to penetrate her while she was lying in such a position and whether or not he used his penis.
Judge Gregory Koppenol said there was "no evidence the complainant girl did not consent" and told the jury as a matter of law they must return a verdict of not guilty.
"This may not have occurred in this case if the police officer questioning the girl had done a competent job, which he did not," Judge Koppenol said.
"I'm sorry the trial has ended in this manner but as a matter of law, it's the way it must go."