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So the trial took place. Evidence was heard. The jury went out and discussed the case for two days. The result was they couldn't come to a conclusion.

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NRL star Jack de Belin and his co-accused Callan Sinclair are facing a possible nine-month wait for a potential retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict in his high-profile sexual assault trial on Monday.

After just under two days of deliberations, the jury was on Monday afternoon discharged as it could not reach a decision on allegations the St George Illawarra forward and his friend raped a 19-year-old woman inside a Wollongong apartment.

9 months seems disturbingly long on top of all the time it has taken so far for justice to be served.

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  • Graham changed the title to Jack de Belin Trial

more details:

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The NSW State of Origin representative, 29, and Sinclair, 23, pleaded not guilty to raping a woman, then 19, in a North Wollongong unit in the early hours of December 9, 2018.

Following a three-and-a-half week trial and nearly two days of deliberations, the Wollongong District Court jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the five charges against each man.

Judge Andrew Haesler then gave the jury the option to return a "majority verdict" whereby 11 out of 12 jurors could be in agreement.

But minutes after considering this option the jury returned once again.

When the jury foreperson was asked if given more time there was a chance of a majority verdict the woman answered: "Absolutely not".

Judge Haesler said he would do everything in his power to ensure a "rapid retrial" of the men who were seen shaking and hanging their heads in the dock.

 

So Jack de Belin remains stood down from playing under the no-fault rule

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On the subject of trials I notice in Hayne's trial his phone was tapped by police five days after allegations were made against him by the unknown woman. These tapped calls are being used in court.

I  have a feeling, but don't know, that this wouldn't be allowed in the UK? Or would it?

I know that they couldn't be used in the past, but  a new law came into being in 2000 which updated things to take into account internet and modern technology/communications. As a result I believe permission to tap is down to whether it is in the interests of national security.

Anybody know what the situation is in this country. Thankfully I've had no dealing with the courts! 😀

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20 hours ago, Graham said:

So the trial took place. Evidence was heard. The jury went out and discussed the case for two days. The result was they couldn't come to a conclusion.

 

I`ve was thinking about posting this a few days ago but didn`t get round to it. They played transcripts in court of phone calls made by both De Belin and Sinclair to family members and friends that were taped by police in the days immediately following the `incident`, I have got to say from what was shown in the paper both fellows seemed genuinely surprised and shocked that the girl had gone to the police and from what was said on those phone calls, despite the whole episode being unsavoury, they both gave the impression that at the time they were under the genuine impression that she was a willing participant. De Belin was more worried about his fiance finding out and there was a phone call to another League player to whom De Belin had insisted the whole thing was consensual. In fact Sinclair was telling his mother or someone that there had been this girl hanging around them all night , kept showing up where ever they went and wasn`t speaking like someone I believe would talk who had just committed a major criminal offence.

I have to admit that after reading them for the first time I thought that these two blokes might get off, previously I thought they were gone, so I wasn`t surprised at all when they couldn`t get a result in court.

Now I am not familiar with how these things generally play out and whether De Belin and Sinclair may have known immediately that their phone may have been tapped and were `bunging` it on, but as I said the transcripts they showed in the papers were of two blokes who at least initially weren`t acting like that they had just done something that could lead them to spending 10 years in jail.

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I took the view innocent until guilty, not knowing all the facts until they came out in court. I think of phone taps being used to trap villains, but by the same token they should carry weight if they show either innocence or similar.

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On 30/11/2020 at 15:51, Graham said:

So the NRL will not be reviewing the no-fault stand down rule.

Under it the first player to be stood down under the rule, Jack de Belin faces a third season out of the game due to the delay in a decision on the case - see above.

It's disgraceful to allow that rule to disqualify a player who has been tried but has not been found guilty.

I would go so far as to say it breaches Jack de Belin's human rights.

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21 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

It's disgraceful to allow that rule to disqualify a player who has been tried but has not been found guilty.

I would go so far as to say it breaches Jack de Belin's human rights.

Just had a quick look into this. Australia doesn't have a Bill of Rights (it says on this link I've just read) so human rights are covered elsewhere. They are nowhere near as extensive as in some other places. This is what the government says:

"There are five explicit individual rights in the Constitution. These are the right to vote (Section 41), protection against acquisition of property on unjust terms (Section 51 (xxxi)), the right to a trial by jury (Section 80), freedom of religion (Section 116) and prohibition of discrimination on the basis of State of residency (Section 117)."

He may have some employment law case but he does not appear, on the face of it, to have a human rights case.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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de Belin's retrial has been moved from Wollongong to Sydney. It is dues to start 12th April 2021with a pre-trial hearing  scheduled in principle for 1st April.

The NRL's stated position.

Quote

The NRL confirmed this week the former NSW State of Origin lock would remain subject to its no-fault stand-down rule until the court determined his criminal proceedings.

The NRL chief executive, Andrew Abdo, said the rule applied while a player was charged with an offence that carried a maximum sentence of 11 years or more.

“The no-fault stand-down rule is not about forming a view on the guilt or innocence of an individual, it is about protecting the values and reputation of the game while a serious criminal process is underway,” Abdo said in a statement.

You could question the the values of a game which prevents a player plying his trade for a protracted period not having been found guilty of anything so far.

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1 hour ago, gingerjon said:

Just had a quick look into this. Australia doesn't have a Bill of Rights (it says on this link I've just read) so human rights are covered elsewhere. They are nowhere near as extensive as in some other places. This is what the government says:

"There are five explicit individual rights in the Constitution. These are the right to vote (Section 41), protection against acquisition of property on unjust terms (Section 51 (xxxi)), the right to a trial by jury (Section 80), freedom of religion (Section 116) and prohibition of discrimination on the basis of State of residency (Section 117)."

He may have some employment law case but he does not appear, on the face of it, to have a human rights case.

Whatever the law says, I believe his human rights have been clearly breached. What the strict legal remedy is for that in Australia, I'm not sure. Perhaps, as you suggest, there isn't one.

“The no-fault stand-down rule is not about forming a view on the guilt or innocence of an individual, it is about protecting the values and reputation of the game while a serious criminal process is underway,” Abdo said in a statement.

The values of any organisation should be to accept that someone is innocent until proven guilty, and even more so when a jury has failed to find him guilty.

The NRL is terrified of journalists like Fitzsimons trying to denigrate its players and therefore its reputation. But it should be strong enough to stand up to that garbage.

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2 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

Whatever the law says, I believe his human rights have been clearly breached. What the strict legal remedy is for that in Australia, I'm not sure. Perhaps, as you suggest, there isn't one.

“The no-fault stand-down rule is not about forming a view on the guilt or innocence of an individual, it is about protecting the values and reputation of the game while a serious criminal process is underway,” Abdo said in a statement.

The values of any organisation should be to accept that someone is innocent until proven guilty, and even more so when a jury has failed to find him guilty.

The NRL is terrified of journalists like Fitzsimons trying to denigrate its players and therefore its reputation. But it should be strong enough to stand up to that garbage.

The rules as they stand don’t seem fit for purpose when cases are taking this long to be sorted.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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1 hour ago, DoubleD said:

I wonder if he proved innocent, if he could sue the NRL for both loss of earnings and reputational damage

As far as I know I`m pretty certain that he is still being paid his full salary. The problem for St. George is of course is that they have  a $650 000 player sitting on the sidelines. 

One thing I can tell you is though, De Belin was almost certain to reject an $800 000 per year offer from the Warriors to stay with St. George due to the loyalty they have shown him , in fact he continues to train with the club, may have even been inside the `bubble` with them this year. 

There is probably a much better chance he will be acquitted in April, as any wavering jurors may be persuaded by other jurors, not to mention Defence lawyers, and the court of public opinion, that he has paid a high enough price as it is, sometimes the longer the time between something like this happening and going to court also helps with the chance of acquittal. I wonder if that girl may be more likely to settle out of court now as well, maybe with a lesser charge , no jail time , and compensation for her of course. She may well just take the money.

De Belin is 29, the club can get 3-4 more years out of him.

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14 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

As far as I know I`m pretty certain that he is still being paid his full salary. The problem for St. George is of course is that they have  a $650 000 player sitting on the sidelines. 

One thing I can tell you is though, De Belin was almost certain to reject an $800 000 per year offer from the Warriors to stay with St. George due to the loyalty they have shown him , in fact he continues to train with the club, may have even been inside the `bubble` with them this year. 

There is probably a much better chance he will be acquitted in April, as any wavering jurors may be persuaded by other jurors, not to mention Defence lawyers, and the court of public opinion, that he has paid a high enough price as it is, sometimes the longer the time between something like this happening and going to court also helps with the chance of acquittal. I wonder if that girl may be more likely to settle out of court now as well, maybe with a lesser charge , no jail time , and compensation for her of course. She may well just take the money.

De Belin is 29, the club can get 3-4 more years out of him.

If it’s a retrial, it will be a completely new jury as far as I’m aware 

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27 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

If it’s a retrial, it will be a completely new jury as far as I’m aware 

Yeah definitely mate, and it will be almost impossible to get a jury who aren`t up on the facts with this trial, the point I was making though was that if there are any dissenters in that jury next time, it would probably be easier to get them to vote acquit, given that they may be able to be convinced that De Belin and Sinclair have already paid a high enough price, especially for something that even the original jury couldn`t get enough votes to find guilty.

And as I said earlier, the transcripts of the phone conversations after the event that were in the paper, really didn`t sound like a couple of rapists to me. I reckon, if I had to guess , the majority of that jury would have wanted to acquit but there was a couple of hold-outs, I`ll try to track down the article if I get chance today.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Yeah definitely mate, and it will be almost impossible to get a jury who aren`t up on the facts with this trial, the point I was making though was that if there are any dissenters in that jury next time, it would probably be easier to get them to vote acquit, given that they may be able to be convinced that De Belin and Sinclair have already paid a high enough price, especially for something that even the original jury couldn`t get enough votes to find guilty.

And as I said earlier, the transcripts of the phone conversations after the event that were in the paper, really didn`t sound like a couple of rapists to me. I reckon, if I had to guess , the majority of that jury would have wanted to acquit but there was a couple of hold-outs, I`ll try to track down the article if I get chance today.

 

 

I don’t think jury’s are meant to work like that but appreciate your point. They should be looking at things impartially and purely based on the facts presented in front of them, ignoring any external information. Easier said than done of course 

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Just to clarify one point:

De Belin has been suspended with full pay under the NRL's no-fault, stand-down policy since March, 2018

He hasn't though had the ability to prove himserlf on the field and renegotiate his pay, or then be the target of any other club who might have paid him more or developed his career...

Well that's what I thought.

There was this article in July though

that starts 

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Jack de Belin's value has soared almost $200,000 despite not having played a game in close to two years, with the rush for his signature set to intensify in the next fortnight.

The representative back-rower will field offers dwarfing his current $595,000-a-year deal with the Dragons, which he's still being paid in full despite being sidelined under the NRL's no-fault stand-down policy.

Am I right in thinking he re-signed with Dragons for three more years?

Things may not be as straightforward with him and his pay at Dragons, well that's what appears to be the case..

More recent article i.e. today.

Quote

 

It's understood the NRL has offered the club salary cap dispensation for de Belin's replacement while he is unavailable, after he agreed to a three-year deal with the Dragons.

That contract is yet to be registered by the NRL and until the legal process is completed he is only receiving a percentage of his pay.

 

 

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I remain convinced that the no fault stand down rule is utterly wrong and this case proves it more and more as time passes.

A fundamental tenant of a civilised society is that you do not punish people before guilt has been proven. And De Belin is being punished by having his opportunity to play professional sport for 3 years at height of his career taken away.

If he is proven to have committed the crimes he is accused of then punish him... but not before.

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It's such a hardline rule which okay is aimed at cases where guilt would result in a long prison sentence.

When however once applied it is stuck with through thick and thin whatever happens in a slow moving judicial system, it is cruel and as said above it not only breaches his human rights, it puts the knife in at twists it continually.

deBelin's legal rep has criticised the rule in recent days:

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De Belin's lawyer, David Campbell SC, claimed the delays in any given trial revealed flaws in the NRL's hardline policy.

"That's a vice of the rule, isn't it?" Campbell told the Herald. "The absence of some discretionary element in the rule is highlighted by this case because somebody could be held out for five years.

"There needs to be some discretionary amelioration with the harshness of the rule."

Heralded for an ability to listen and act on the sentiments of fans, players and stakeholders, Peter V'landys and Andrew Abdo will have to balance an inevitable looming sentiment to jettison the 'no fault' policy, should de Belin be found not guilty, while preserving the unprecedented professionalism they have thrust upon the game.

Speaking on the issue, Abdo perhaps gave the biggest indication that the policy was here to stay.

"It's a matter of policy that was set by the Commission. It's a strong decision. I support it," Abdo said.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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NRL boss Andrew Abdo has declared the no-fault stand down rule won’t be going anywhere as the battle with the NRLPA continues, per The Sydney Morning Herald.

The players were left frustrated with the policy’s introduction early last year, with the league and it’s players union set to meet before an arbitrator this week.

It is understood that players weren’t consulted on the rule prior to its introduction, breaching the collective bargaining agreement between the league and it’s players.

Despite a failed mediation earlier this year, the no-fault stand down policy has once again surfaced into debate as Dragons star Jack de Belin faces a third straight season on the sidelines as he awaits the results of his sexual assault case.

 

 

Full article here

You'd have thought that before this rule was brought in there would have been some discussion of it betwwen the NRL and theplayers' union. I'd have thought that would be standard practice.

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Banned Dragon Jack de Belin has returned to training.

However, it is understood that he has been training with the reserves and not yet with the top squad as he looks to regain full fitness.

The star forward has been stood down from playing under the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy as he awaits the verdict for his rape re-trial.

If found not guilty, De Belin could return as early as round nine, however, it is more likely he will be eased back into action through the reserve grades.

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11 hours ago, Graham said:

Banned Dragon Jack de Belin has returned to training.

However, it is understood that he has been training with the reserves and not yet with the top squad as he looks to regain full fitness.

The star forward has been stood down from playing under the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy as he awaits the verdict for his rape re-trial.

If found not guilty, De Belin could return as early as round nine, however, it is more likely he will be eased back into action through the reserve grades.

This should of happened the moment he was stood down not over 2 years later.

2021.jpg

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