THE mother of one of the women accusing Griffith mayor Mike Neville of sexual assault has told of the moment her daughter revealed the alleged abuse to her.
The mother yesterday told Wagga District Court how her daughter told her she felt “filthy and degraded” after Neville allegedly assaulted her in his office.
The mother said her daughter was visibly upset after coming out of his Griffith probation and parole office following a pre-sentence interview and said to her minutes later “he is a piece of filth, he made me do things I didn’t want to do”.
The following day the daughter told her mum Neville – a probation and parole officer at the time – had made her strip and that he touched her.
“We spoke about it, she said ‘what am I going to do mum, no one will believe me because I am a criminal,” the mother said.
“She said he made her feel filthy and degraded.”
During cross-examination by Neville’s barrister Ray Hood, he put to the woman that her daughter had a number of meetings following the first alleged assault but she did nothing to stop them.
The woman told the court she was following her daughter’s wishes not revealing the alleged abuse as she didn’t want it revealed.
The court also heard from two Griffith refuge workers – Betty Mott and Carrol Farlow – who said they had conversations with the 28-year-old woman about Neville allegedly assaulting her.
On Monday, two of Neville’s work colleagues – administrative assistant Nadia Martinello and probation and parole officer Kim Burgess – gave evidence about the office in which the alleged assaults took place.
The colleagues both said they could not see through the frosted glass panels into said Neville assaulted her.
But when shown photographs taken from the outside of the room while on the stand on Monday, both agreed they could see objects inside the room.
Mr Burgess and Ms Martinello could not recall yesterday ever going into the conference room when Neville had a client in there.
Neville has pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and four counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent.
It is alleged that four offences were committed against a woman aged in her 20s either in Neville's own office in the Department of Corrective Services' Banna Avenue headquarters or in the conference room during work hours.
Mr Hood also put to both witnesses that they had been approached by a police detective last week to shore up the alleged victim's claim that Neville's wheelchair had been on the floor of his work car in front of the passenger seat as he tried to touch her underpants.
Neville has been a paraplegic since 1979.
The jury last week was shown a video produced for Neville's defence showing him dismantling a wheelchair and then putting the various pieces on the front passenger seat and on the back seat.
Mr Hood said then the sheer bulk of the wheelchair made it impossible to be placed on the car's floor.
After seeing the video, the woman insisted she had sat on the seat with her feet resting on the wheelchair.
Mr Hood asked Ms Martinello yesterday about making a statement to a police officer at his request last Friday after the video was shown.
"Did he say: 'I am the boy in front of the dike putting my hand in to stop the leaks'?" Mr Hood asked Ms Martinello.
"No," she replied.
Mr Hood asked Mr Burgess if a detective had told him about the video and said it was "problem" and that he wanted Mr Burgess to "close it off".
"No, I don't believe so," Mr Burgess said.
Both witnesses gave evidence of having been in a work car with Neville, but said that whenever he drove they always put his wheelchair in the boot for him.
Earlier yesterday, drug and alcohol rehabilitation worker Emma Cusack answered questions from Mr Hood about the alleged assault victim's behaviour while in rehab, including a time she asked to telephone her brother, but instead rang her partner, which was against the rules.
"She attempted to deceive you, quite clearly," Mr Hood said.
"Yes," Ms Cusack said.
Ms Cusack also read from a case note detailing a reprimand of the woman in which she had been told her behaviour in relation to another matter had been "inappropriate and manipulative".
The trial continues today.