This is a transcript from PM. The program is broadcast around Australia at 5:10pm on Radio National and 6:10pm on ABC Local Radio.
WA man acquitted of rape
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PM Archive - Friday, 23 March , 2001 00:00:00
Reporter: david weber
COMPERE: A Perth man who was once known as the 'thirty second rapist' has vowed to sue the State after his 14-year-old conviction was quashed. It was revealed four years ago that Kevin Ibbs had been set up, but he's only now been acquitted.
David Weber reports on an extraordinary case.
DAVID WEBER: Kevin Ibbs was convicted in 1987 of failing to stop having sex with a woman 30 seconds after she withdrew consent. After a trail which received much publicity, Mr Ibbs went to gaol for six months. A few years' ago the woman involved and Mr Ibbs' former wife both confessed to setting him up.
Mr Ibbs, now 49, had to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal to have the conviction set aside. But even though he's been successful, he's not celebrating.
KEVIN IBBS: There is no feeling. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel. I've been exonerated but I'm not jumping up and down for joy. To coin a phrase that I've said for a long time, I'm the original living dead - the tissue on the outside's alive but there's nothing inside. That's it. It's gone for that long that the poison's just eaten it away.
DAVID WEBER: It's been 14 years since you were convicted. You don't feel any sense of release at this result?
KEVIN IBBS: I think it's gone for so long and I've had so much hurt - it may come about, I don't know. It's great that I'm cleared. I always knew I was innocent - it was just convincing the rest of the world except for my mum and a few friends.
DAVID WEBER: What effects did that six months in jail and that conviction have on your life?
KEVIN IBBS: Whenever there's a rape anywhere, you're waiting for the knock on the door. Please explain where you were. I've had the task force come through and luckily I was living with my Uncle and he said where I was. I didn't have to say anything. He said no, he's been here.
DAVID WEBER: Are you going to take your own legal action to recoup some of your expenses?
KEVIN IBBS: It's cost me over a million and a quarter and I'm going for a lot more than that. Yes, I am going to sue. It's my lawful right. My life - 14 years - they can't give that back to me. I haven't seen my daughter for 14 years. I've been ruined as a tradesman and I don't know how my health is.
DAVID WEBER: Mr Ibbs says he's going to pursue two men including a police officer who he says were involved in the conspiracy against him. Western Australia's Parliament changed the laws on rape in the mid-1980s. The new offence became aggravated sexual assault, which meant continuation of penetration without consent. Kevin Ibbs was one of the first to be charged under the new law.
Another of the early cases involved a man who was also wrongfully convicted and eventually compensated.
Mr Ibbs says when he's compensated he'll donate much of the money to Perth hospitals.
COMPERE: David Weber in Perth.