Man faces child rape, threat to kill charges

A SOUTH-WEST man will stand trial in the new year facing one charge of rape and one charge of making a threat to kill.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday for a committal hearing.

The charges relate to an alleged incident involving a child in Warrnambool during June.

Yesterday the man told the court he would plead not guilty to both charges.

Eight witnesses gave evidence, including the child’s mother.

During the committal Detective Senior Constable Danny Wright, from the sexual offences and child abuse investigation team, said the child was traumatised and reluctant to speak to him about the incident.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said there was sufficient evidence before him for the man to stand trial.

He said the evidence produced had clearly established a child was injured as a result of a third party.

He said the child’s mother originally believed that the child may have caused its own injury but this was not a sustainable proposition.

Mr Klestadt said the Crown’s evidence relied heavily on the child identifying the accused man.

The man will appear at a directions hearing on January 21 at the Melbourne County Court.