Australia

Bruce Lehrmann trial jury told ‘no rush’ to reach verdict as deliberations enter fourth day

This story contains allegations of sexual assault and may be distressing to some readers.
The jury in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins at Parliament House has asked for more time to consider their verdict.
The four men and eight women sent a note to ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum at the start of their fourth day of deliberations on Monday. 
Mr Lehrmann, a former Liberal Party staffer, has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent with Ms Higgins in the office of a government minister in 2019.
“Could the court give us a little extra time to complete our deliberation? We have not yet reached an agreement beyond reasonable doubt,” the note read. 

“Could you please advise on time expectation?”

Former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum reassured jurors there is no time limit for a verdict.

“You can take all the time you need… there is no rush, there is no time limit,” she said in the ACT Supreme Court.
“If you’re feeling any pressure from the knowledge people are waiting for the verdict, there is no pressure from anyone on you, you take all the time you need.”
“We will hear from you, when we hear from you.”
The jurors heard evidence from 29 witnesses during the 12-day trial.
If allegations set out in this story raise issues for you, or you or someone you know needs support – you can seek 24 hour help through 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
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