ACT News


Woman 'thought sex was with husband'

A Duntroon officer cadet has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a woman as she lay in the dark, waiting for her husband to come home.

The woman fell asleep on the couch of her Duntroon home, hoping her husband would return from a formal company dinner in the early hours of April 5 last year.

She woke in darkness to hear her front door opening, and the sound of footsteps making their way upstairs, to the home's main bedroom, then back down to lounge room where she slept.

The man said nothing, but lay next to her, fondling and kissing her, before performing other sexual acts.

She assumed it was her husband, but soon doubt began to creep into her mind, the ACT Supreme Court heard on Monday

The woman said he looked like her husband, but that his hair didn't feel right, she couldn't see his tattoo, and the man wasn't responding to her as her husband would have.


She says she asked "are you all right?", and the man spoke for the first time, saying "yep".

The Crown allege it then became firm in her mind that the man was not her husband.

The woman said "oh my god", and she says she chased him out of the house.

The Crown say she turned on a light and allegedly saw cadet Paul Edward Buckley, 24, the husband of a friend who she had met a number of times at Duntroon.

The woman immediately called triple-0, and broke down as she told police she had been assaulted by a man she thought was her husband, but turned out to be Buckley.

The alleged victim wept as the triple-0 call was played to court on Monday afternoon.

Buckley had been drinking at the same formal dinner event as the complainant's husband on the night of the alleged assault.

The Crown alleges that, at one point, Buckley went up to the woman's husband, and told him they should "spit roast", or have a threesome with, his wife.

Buckley was later told to leave the dinner and go home by a captain, who the Crown say had observed him drinking spirits at the dinner.

The issue of consent is central to the trial, the court heard.

The Crown say the woman never consented to the acts, and that, even if there was "apparent consent", it was based on the mistaken belief that the man was her husband.

Acting Justice John Nield warned the jury that recent media coverage of broader problems with defence culture were completely and utterly irrelevant to the trial.

In his opening submissions, Buckley's barrister Ken Archer said the consumption of alcohol at the dinner, and its effect on the behaviour of those involved, was an important issue.

Mr Archer said alcohol played a "critical" role in Buckley's decision to go to the house, and also influenced what happened inside.

He said Buckley was a young man, with a wife and child, who had an unblemished record.

Buckley, his barrister argued, was not a "rat bag" who had done similar things in the past.

Mr Archer said many people would agree his actions were stupid, but said they were not criminal offences.

Buckley is facing one charge of burglary with intent, and two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.

The trial continues.