Monday, 05 Dec 2022

A chance discovery ends the trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins

A chance discovery ends the trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins


A chance discovery ends the trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins

The first sign something was amiss in the trial of Bruce Lehrmann came just before 8.30am on Thursday.

A note, sent by staff working for the ACT supreme court chief justice, Lucy McCallum, landed in the inboxes of observers, advising the court would be convening at an unusually early time.

The email set tongues wagging among the press pack that has camped outside the courtroom for nearly a month. Was a juror sick? Were they deadlocked? Did the jury have a question? Had press coverage from the night before caused a problem?

Inside court, there were more signs of the unusual.

Brittany Higgins and her partner, David Sharaz, were also in the public gallery for the first time during the trial, accompanied by the victims of crime commissioner, Heidi Yates.

The mystery was soon solved.

McCallum arrived and quickly told the court that a juror was being investigated for misconduct. The juror was thought to have brought in outside research material into the court, something jurors are told repeatedly not to do.

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