A MOTHER whose daughter was raped as a teenager at Waverley 11 years ago has expressed joy and relief after the culprit was found guilty yesterday.
A Launceston jury took just over three hours to find Stewart George Pyers, 41, of Waverley, raped the 14-year-old in November 2002 on Regent Street at 3am.
In the three-day trial, the Supreme Court heard a masked Pyers, then 31, came up behind the girl and dragged her in to the bushes and brutally raped her.
In a bizarre twist the jury heard the girl engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with Pyers six months later, after they were introduced through a friend, without knowing who he was. Pyers denied this.
But Crown prosecutor John Ransom suggested Pyers may have pursued the victim to sure up his defence if he was ever caught for the rape.
Mr Ransom urged Justice Robert Pearce to find the relationship occurred, adding it was an aggravating factor.
He said the rape was bad enough, but to learn a former partner was responsible ``had a major effect upon her''.
``Your honour this is very serious case of rape, it involves a 14-year-old girl, a stranger, the use of a disguise and it's occurred in a public place,'' Mr Ransom said.
He said rape by a stranger had traditionally put the offence at the more serious end of the criminal scale, however, there had been a move away from this.
As the majority verdict was read out the victim's mother, who cannot be identified, cheered the jury's decision. Outside court she said the truth had eventually come out.
``I feel relieved for my daughter, she can move on now,'' she said.
``She beat it, it didn't beat her.''
The victim gave evidence at the trial, but was not present yesterday.
During the trial the prosecution relied heavily on a triple-0 call soon after the attack where the girl, in a highly distressed state, immediately tells the operator she's been raped.
Mr Ransom said the call, played to the jury, was a ``powerful'' piece of evidence.
The jury rejected the defence's theory that the girl had been upset over a friend's medical condition and other factors so decided to make a false police report after having consensual sex with Pyers.
In his summing up Justice Pearce said he found the defence's argument that the girl was motivated by the lure of victims' compensation funds as unconvincing.
Defence counsel Adrian Hall will deliver a plea of mitigation today.