Australia

No decision: Jury sent back for further deliberations in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann

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 were on Tuesday unable to agree on a verdict.
The four men and eight women of the jury sent a note to the ACT Supreme Court, which simply said they were “unable to reach a unanimous verdict.”
Mr Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent with Brittany Higgins, in the office of then Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds, in 2019.
ACT Chief Justice Lucy McCallum sent the jurors back to the jury room to reconsider the evidence.
“I have the power to discharge you without a verdict, but only if I am satisfied there is no likelihood of agreement,” she said.
“Your verdict whether guilty or not guilty must be a unanimous one.”

“I am going to ask you to retire again to see if you can reach a verdict on this trial.”

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

Less than 10 minutes later, the jury returned and asked to be dismissed for the day, to come back fresh for deliberations on Wednesday.

The judge agreed and sent the 12 people home.
“Hit the gym, walk the dog, do whatever you need to do … get some respite from this arduous task,” Justice McCallum said.
The jurors have heard evidence from 29 witnesses in the 12-day trial.
If this story has raised any issues for you, there is help available at Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you or someone you know wants to talk about sexual assault or harassment, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.
File source

Tags
Show More
Back to top button
Close