Justice for boy who died after brutal rape
A man who brutally raped a 13-year-old boy who took his life after the horrific assault, has argued the boy’s evidence was not reliable because he did not live long enough to be cross examined.
Robert Jon Dendle, 37, was living in the Moreton Bay region when he placed a pillow over the child’s face and a hand over his mouth before subjecting him to four hours of abuse in November 2015.
After the chilling ordeal, Dendle – a trusted family friend – attempted to blackmail the boy into silence, threatening that if he told his father: “You know what I am gonna do”.
The next morning the brave boy did tell his father what Dendle had done and the pair went straight to the police station to give a statement.
The recorded interview given to police would be the teenager’s only recorded account of the brutal rape.
He took his own life 10 weeks after Dendle’s assault.
Dendle was jailed for 12 years after a jury found him guilty of two counts of rape and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 in the Brisbane District Court in May 2018.
The sentencing judge noted the abuse was the “predominant factor” in the young teenager’s death.
In September last year, Dendle unsuccessfully appealed his conviction and sentence.
This morning he lost another chance for freedom, with the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissing his application for more time to challenge his conviction.
This time, Dendle argued that the case against him “stood or fell upon the unsworn evidence” of the boy.
In a judgment online, Dendle said the reliability of the child’s evidence was “degraded” because he had been unable to be challenged or cross-examined.
Dendle argued that the Court of Appeal had failed to examine one of his grounds – that the verdict was unsafe.
Justice Walter Sofronoff said the court had made its decision in September last year, so he could not allow an extension for Dendle to make another appeal to the same court.
Dendle’s only remaining avenue is to apply for more time to appeal his conviction in the High Court of Australia.
*For 24-hour sexual assault support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Mensline on 1800 600 636
*The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467
Originally published as Justice for boy who died after brutal rape