A Papua New Guinea woman accused of child rape in Brisbane will continue to wear a tracking device after arguing it’s “distracting” in the summer.
Kathleen Ipi Johnson was in a de facto relationship with Jeffrey Kennedy when the couple allegedly committed offenses against a child in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane in 2019.
Johnson, 47, petitioned the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday to remove a bail condition requiring him to wear a GPS tracking device.
Kennedy, 38, is a former chancellor of the University of PNG who owns businesses in Port Moresby, according to the PNG The National newspaper.
Kennedy was charged in November 2019 after he attempted to board a flight to Cairns from where he was to travel to PNG.
Johnson’s attorney provided the court with photos of an abrasion on Johnson’s ankle from the device, argued it was ‘more inconvenient in the summer months’ and he needed to be loaded, which had an impact on his daily routines.
“Guess it would be less awkward if she went into custody, wouldn’t it?” said Judge David Boddice.
“So she wouldn’t have to wear it.”
The order to wear the tracker was part of a “suite of conditions” imposed in December 2019 to eliminate the risk of contact with the plaintiff, Judge Boddice said in denying Johnson’s request.
“I am satisfied that the GPS tracking device is not more expensive than necessary,” he added, saying that she was accused of sexual offenses over a long period.
Johnson first unsuccessfully petitioned to remove the tracker in November 2020.
Kennedy and Johnson face one count each of rape, indecent treatment of a child under 12, and entertaining an unlawful relationship with a child.
They face a preliminary hearing in Brisbane District Court on Monday.
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Australian Associated Press