Victims jubilant at rapist’s jail sentence

Six women, who were lured onto John Collins' yacht along the Queensland coastline and sexually assaulted, are
Six women, who were lured onto John Collins' yacht along the Queensland coastline and sexually assaulted, are "jubilant" outside Brisbane District Court after he is sentenced to 20 years in jail. Photo Rae Wilson / Newsdesk Rae Wilson

A SERIAL rapist, who was jailed for 20 years yesterday, told a teenage girl he was a man who "had needs" when he raped her on a deserted island off the Whitsundays.

John Collins, then 46, threatened to hurt her friends and family if she did not have sex with him, and she believed him.

She cried and tried to resist but he was too strong and he told her life would be easier if she did not resist.

The Sunshine Coast girl, 19 in 1986 when she took the job as a nanny to Collins' young son, jumped ship at Hamilton Island and got her parents to pay for a bus home.

John Collins, 74, was labelled "cunning, devious and dishonest" before Judge Nicholas Samios ordered he serve 80% of the sentence, which would make him 90 before he could be released.

"How can you have remorse for people who are talking false things about you?" Collins told Brisbane District Court. "They were my lovers. They weren't raped."

Collins was convicted after trial of sexually assaulting seven women, raping six of them, on his yacht, the Pan Pacific, along the Queensland coast between the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast from 1986 to 2000.

He would place newspaper advertisements asking for the women to fill a nanny position.

Collins would then lure them into his cabin, where he raped them at various ports - including the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Bundaberg.

The offences came to light when one woman spoke to a newspaper about her experience and others came forward with similar tales.

Crown prosecutor David Nardone said the sexual offending had a distressing impact on the seven victims, especially the two who fell pregnant and were forced to terminate.

"The picture painted against Mr Collins was a man that preyed on young women and lured them to his yacht, where he was able to isolate them and ... commit the offences against them," he said.

"He used drugs and isolation to achieve his goals."

Six of the victims hugged and cried outside court, "jubilant" and "relieved" at the result.

"A serious serial predator who has been preying on women for almost 30 years, and probably longer, had his just rewards," one said.

"I think the way in which he went about the attacks was designed to make women unsure about how they would be perceived or believed by authorities."

Topics:  court rape

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