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Jury begins deliberating on fate of Cameron Tully for alleged child molestation

Date

Christopher Knaus

Cameron Tully leaves the Supreme Court.

Cameron Tully leaves the Supreme Court. Photo: Jay Cronan

A jury has begun deliberating on the fate of a man accused of molesting young girls at his family's religious Hillview farm in West Belconnen.

The trial of Cameron Flynn Tully, 40, is drawing to a close after more than two weeks in the ACT Supreme Court.

Tully is accused of abusing eight young girls in the 1990s and early 2000s, mainly on his family's Hillview farm in West Belconnen.

Some girls were allegedly abused in the farm's shearing shed, others in rooms of Hillview's main rammed earth building.

One says she was molested in a ramshackle shed, and another while Tully was giving her a piggyback.

Tully is accused of using a kitten to lure one girl into a room to abuse her.

Some of the complainants say they were subjected to sexual acts at other places around Canberra, including two homes and the Majura Community Centre.

One woman said she was raped during a game of hide and seek, while other children were outside hiding.

She was almost four at the time but said she was able to remember clearly, despite her young age.

''There's some things you don't forget,'' she said.

Tully has completely denied the charges and described the allegations as vile and disgusting when he gave evidence last week.

Friends and family have given evidence for the defence case, praising Tully's character and saying they thought the allegations were not possible.

On Tuesday, Crown prosecutor John Lundy gave his closing submission to the jury.

Mr Lundy said the defence had said at the outset of the trial that it would show ''considerable communication'' between the complainants.

That, he said, had not been brought out in the evidence.

He asked the jury to consider how likely it was that the complaints from eight different women were false, pointing to seemingly irrelevant details they remembered in their evidence.

Mr Lundy told the members of the jury they could find each complainant to be a ''witness of truth''.

''Ladies and gentleman, each of these eight young women told you the truth about what the accused did to them,'' he said.

It was to be expected, Mr Lundy said, that Tully's family and friends would give evidence in support of him.

He asked the jury to consider whether their evidence was rehearsed.

''Don't forget, they would have had ample time to discuss all the issues,'' he said.

But defence barrister Ray Livingston used his closing submission to argue the allegations were implausible.

Mr Livingston told the jury to consider each of the 22 charges on their own, and reminded them they needed to be proved to the high standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

He said evidence pointing to Tully's good character was ''crucial''.

He said most of the complainants could not give detail surrounding the offences, and all bar one could not put forward a precise date.

One of the girls was allegedly molested on a fold-out couch in the library of the property's main home.

But Tully has given evidence a fold-out couch was never in that room.

Another girl was allegedly raped in the shearing shed during a bonfire night on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in 1998.

But Tully and other defence witnesses have claimed that no bonfire took place that year.

Mr Livingston also pointed out that none of the complainants came forward until 2011.

When they did, he said, they made reports in a relatively short period of time.

The jury will continue deliberations on Wednesday. The trial is before Justice John Burns.

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