News Queensland Ex-CFMEU boss David Hanna jailed for raping Brisbane woman
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Ex-CFMEU boss David Hanna jailed for raping Brisbane woman

Ex-union boss Dave Hanna heads to court on Friday with his legal team to learn his fate. Photo: AAP/Darren England
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Drunk and distressed by the possibility of not being able to get home, a woman outside a Brisbane bar was offered help by a man.

That man, former CFMEU Queensland president David Arthur Hanna, was jailed on Friday for at least three years after being found guilty of  rape.

The court found Hanna, 54, preyed on her vulnerability after a night of heavy drinking two years ago, even filming her violation while she was incapable of objecting or giving consent and was “out cold” at times.

Hanna met his victim at a Fortitude Valley rooftop bar then went home with her in a taxi after she had been kicked out for intoxication.

As she had lost her handbag and house keys, Hanna cited his years of experience in the building industry to boast he could get her inside.

After knocking down her townhouse door and following her into her Taigum home, in Brisbane’s north, Hanna forced her to have unprotected intercourse. The District Court jury found she did not have the cognitive capacity to consent due to her intoxication.

While witnesses testified Hanna barely showed signs of being drunk, his victim was “very intoxicated” and “dazed and confused”, a condition the prosecution said made her “extremely vulnerable”.

‘Save me’

“He simply chose to take advantage of his position of dominance in exploiting her in a demeaning and humiliating way for his own sexual pleasure,” crown prosecutor Michael Lehane said during sentencing.

“The manner in which he chose to record her on his phone exemplifies his uncaring and contemptuous attitude towards her.”

Messages sent by the woman to a friend and ex-boyfriend during the ordeal read, “save me” and “please help me”.

Hanna was found guilty of three counts of rape and another of recording in breach of privacy.

He used his phone to film himself digitally penetrating her, believing he was taking photographs, which he says she agreed to.

He says he continued to use the screen as a visual aid because of his poor eyesight, and later asked her to strike a “sexy pose” for him to photograph.

“(It) appeared to me that she was out cold,” Judge Julie Dick said in sentencing.

“It was a demeaning act of rape, particularly the two digital rapes where it was pretty clear there wasn’t a response from her.

“I thought your explanation for the video – that it was accident – was unconvincing, which means that was a deliberate act.”

Hanna was jailed for six years and won’t be eligible for parole until February 2022.

It is his second criminal conviction in three months. He was handed a suspended sentence in December for destroying documents possibly relevant to the trade union royal commission in 2014.

The woman has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression since the incident.

The trial would have been “excruciating” for her, Judge Dick said.

“She comes across as an extremely brave person,” she said.

“She was unflinching (in giving evidence).”

A night of depraved indifference

  • Hanna was out with a couple of mates. His victim was at after-work drinks on Friday, March 3, 2017.
  • They met at Eleven rooftop bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley after midnight and chatted.
  • She was drunk and got kicked out of the bar about 1am.
  • Hanna went with her to the exit and they got into a taxi. They did not leave because she realised she did not have her handbag and house keys.
  • Hanna went back into the venue. The woman lingered outside and, drunk and often incoherent, discussed with security guards how to get home.
  • She attempted to call people to help her but no one picked up. An hour passed before a security guard asked a colleague to bring Hanna back outside to help her.
  • The pair got in a taxi. During the 20-minute ride to her townhouse in Taigum in Brisbane’s north, he kissed her while she was asleep. He also touched her breast.
  • They arrive at her house about 2.20am.
  •  Hanna broke the front door to enter.
  • At 2.26 am, the woman texted a friend, “save me”. She texted her ex-boyfriend, “help me”, a minute later.
  • According to Hanna’s testimony, they have a drink downstairs then go to her bedroom.
  • He rapes her. He films himself penetrating her digitally and with his penis and takes other photos.
  • The last photo is taken at 3.41am.

-with AAP