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SAME STUFF REPEATED FROM THE LAST TRIAL!!!
Jack de Belin, Callan Sinclair trial hears housemate lied about seeing footballers
A key witness in the sexual assault trial of NRL star Jack de Belin has admitted in court he lied to police.
A man who lived at the unit where NRL star Jack de Belin allegedly raped a teenager alongside friend Callan Sinclair has admitted he lied to police about what he saw that night because he didn’t want to reveal the footballer was cheating on his girlfriend.
Troy Martin has told the men’s District Court trial he deliberately misled police by telling them he slept through the incident at the North Wollongong townhouse he shared with Mr de Belin’s cousin Jake Lewis.
He told the court he actually woke to “murmurs” inside the home before walking to Mr Lewis’s bedroom where he saw a nude Mr de Belin at the foot of a bed, the naked woman lying on her back and Mr Sinclair standing nearby fully clothed.
On day six of their trial, witness Mr Martin was asked by Mr de Belin’s barrister David Campbell SC why he lied when interviewed by police on the night of the incident, with the court hearing officers had only told him they were investigating a “serious matter”.
“Once (I was) driving to the police station I realised I didn’t want to be involved in whatever happened … so I tried to say as little as possible to protect myself,” he said.
Mr Scully also put to Mr Martin that his story about Mr de Belin leaving the bedroom to talk just as he was about to have sex with the woman was “complete fiction”.
“I suggest to you that you are deliberately lying to this jury about this whole scenario about Mr de Belin coming out of the bedroom naked and having a chat with you,” Mr Scully said.
Mr Martin replied: “I disagree.”
On Wednesday the jury was also played audio of evidence given by tuktuk driver Gary Port at the men’s previous trial in November that could not be concluded.
Mr Port said he picked up who he now knew to be Mr de Belin, Mr Sinclair and the woman at the end of Crown Street mall in the early hours of December 9, 2018.
He said Mr de Belin – who he referred to as the “gentleman with the Akubra” – repeated “You’ll have to trust me” when asked several times for a drop-off address.
Mr Port the lack of a clear answer caused him to “become alerted”.
The driver said Mr de Belin directed him to a steep hill that he refused to peddle up and the trio hopped out, with the footballer handing him a $50 note.
Mr Port said after hopping out of the tuktuk Mr de Belin said to the group “we’re going up the hill”, which drew protest from the woman.
“I heard the girl distinctly what she said … ‘like ###### are we’,” he said.
The court has heard evidence from the woman that she was reluctant to go inside the townhouse where she was allegedly raped. She claimed she only did so to use the toilet.
After being paid, Mr Port said he left straight away and at the time had no idea who Mr de Belin was: “wouldn’t have if I fell over him”.
He had a memory of the woman on the back flashing passing cars while on the journey but said he couldn’t be sure whether that incident occurred during a different fare.
The trial before Judge Nicole Noman continues.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jack de Belin’s wait for a verdict in his sexual assault trial alongside mate Callan Sinclair will stretch into a third day.

The jury deliberating on whether the two men raped a young woman in 2018 were released early about 3pm on Tuesday 4th May due to a request from one juror who had an unrelated commitment.

The jury of eight men and four women retired to begin their deliberations about 10.15am on Monday morning. They will continue their discussions on Wednesday.

St George Dragons forward Mr de Belin, 30, and Mr Sinclair, 24, have each pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault.

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The jury has returned with a verdict of not guilty on one charge of rape.

The jury were not able to come to a verdict on the other five charges against him after six days of deliberation.

As a result he and his co defendent will have the other five charges against them dropped, unless a third trial is ordered.

They will return to court on 28th May to hear whether there will be a third trial.

De Belin remains suspended from playing in the NRL under the no-fault stand-down policy.

 

Edited by Graham
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My views have not changed on this.  If guilty, these men should be punished but the no fault stand down rule is flawed at its core.  It is punishment before guilt has been determined and should not happen.

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1 hour ago, Graham said:

The jury has returned with a verdict of not guilty on one charge of rape.

The jury were not able to come to a verdict on the other five charges against him after six days of deliberation.

As a result he and his co defendent will have the other five charges against them dropped, unless a third trial is ordered.

They will return to court on 28th May to hear whether there will be a third trial.

De Belin remains suspended from playing in the NRL under the no-fault stand-down policy.

 

So it goes on and on ....

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5 minutes ago, DoubleD said:

Yes, very messy...........not good for anyone involved

Surely if two trials can’t decide it should be done ? You’ll end up just going over the same ground 

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6 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Surely if two trials can’t decide it should be done ? You’ll end up just going over the same ground 

Yeah, not sure how it works over there, every country has different rules. Usually, unless new evidence comes to light, it can't be re-trialled. I don't know what the other 5 charges were though

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De Belin has to wait until May 28 to learn if he will face a third trial.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed de Belin will be free to play if the remaining charges are dropped.

Coach Griffin said the 30-year-old lock would then come into calculations for his side.

Quote

 

“We’ve put him through, probably the last eight weeks, the toughest training he’s done,” Griffin told 2GB.

“It was basically his own pre-season before the court case started, with the NRL staff, he did that privately.

“He’s fit enough. Obviously, he hasn’t played in two and a half years. We just wait, it’s still a legal matter.

“If that gets resolved in his favour, we’ll get him there as quick as he can. He’s very fit at the moment.”

 

 

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1 hour ago, Graham said:

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo confirmed de Belin will be free to play if the remaining charges are dropped.

That’s nice of him 

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On 10/05/2021 at 22:15, DoubleD said:

Yeah, not sure how it works over there, every country has different rules. Usually, unless new evidence comes to light, it can't be re-trialled. I don't know what the other 5 charges were though

I think each of the charges relates to a different sexual act performed during the alleged assault, and a corresponding charge of the same act but `in company`, this means they are also charged with the act the other alleged perpetrator performed as well. An analogy being the get away driver for a bank robbery who despite never entering the bank, is still charged with robbery `in company` as they are deemed to have been part of a `joint criminal enterprise`. This is why when the jury agreed that De Belin had not committed the alleged specific sexual assault and found him not guilty on that one particular charge, Sinclair was also found not guilty because although never accused of that actually performing that act himself, he was accused of having performed it `in company` because he was a part of a joint criminal enterprise.

Interestingly none of the charges include ` detaining a person against their will` which is odd, so I`m not sure how that works considering that if she was being raped surely that would have been part of the act.

As far as a third trial, no new evidence needs to be submitted but the Department of Public Prosecutions will consider now if a third trial is any more likely to reach a verdict, I find this unlikely, especially given the extremely ambiguous nature of the evidence presented so far, the fact they were acquitted on one charge and also the trial judge in both this trial and the first  instructed the jury that he would accept a 11-1 verdict or what is considered a majority verdict in case there was one hold-out. The jury came back and said they were hopelessly dead-locked and I get the impression or may have read, it was a long way from 11-1 split. The DPP in cases like this before have decided not to proceed because they have considered it `oppressive`, as in they consider that the matter has dragged on too long and the effects on the health and well-being on all parties, even in one high profile case the effect on the accused, of having to wait and go to trial again. Juries are also less likely to convict the further the trial takes part from the actual alleged crime.

All in all if I were a betting man, De Belin`s and Sinclair`s reaction in the court room in response to the one not-guilty finding, they were over the moon with back-slapping and hugging, is indicative of how their defence team now see how this whole affair will play out, and that the DPP will find that it unlikely that any further prosecution will be able to reach a verdict on the remaining charges and the whole thing will be dropped.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

I think each of the charges relates to a different sexual act performed during the alleged assault, and a corresponding charge of the same act but `in company`, this means they are also charged with the act the other alleged perpetrator performed as well. An analogy being the get away driver for a bank robbery who despite never entering the bank, is still charged with robbery `in company` as they are deemed to have been part of a `joint criminal enterprise`. This is why when the jury agreed that De Belin had not committed the alleged specific sexual assault and found him not guilty on that one particular charge, Sinclair was also found not guilty because although never accused of that actually performing that act himself, he was accused of having performed it `in company` because he was a part of a joint criminal enterprise.

Interestingly none of the charges include ` detaining a person against their will` which is odd, so I`m not sure how that works considering that if she was being raped surely that would have been part of the act.

As far as a third trial, no new evidence needs to be submitted but the Department of Public Prosecutions will consider now if a third trial is any more likely to reach a verdict, I find this unlikely, especially given the extremely ambiguous nature of the evidence presented so far, the fact they were acquitted on one charge and also the trial judge in both this trial and the first  instructed the jury that he would accept a 11-1 verdict or what is considered a majority verdict in case there was one hold-out. The jury came back and said they were hopelessly dead-locked and I get the impression or may have read, it was a long way from 11-1 split. The DPP in cases like this before have decided not to proceed because they have considered it `oppressive`, as in they consider that the matter has dragged on too long and the effects on the health and well-being on all parties, even in one high profile case the effect on the accused, of having to wait and go to trial again. Juries are also less likely to convict the further the trial takes part from the actual alleged crime.

All in all if I were a betting man, De Belin`s and Sinclair`s reaction in the court room in response to the one not-guilty finding, they were over the moon with back-slapping and hugging, is indicative of how their defence team now see how this whole affair will play out, and that the DPP will find that it unlikely that any further prosecution will be able to reach a verdict on the remaining charges and the whole thing will be dropped.

 

 

 

 The charge de Belin was found not guilty of concerned anal sex. When the verdict was announced de Belin remained impassive whilst Sinclair exhaled loudly.

Would agree with you that a 3rd trial is unlikely.

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On 12/05/2021 at 11:03, George Watt said:

 The charge de Belin was found not guilty of concerned anal sex. When the verdict was announced de Belin remained impassive whilst Sinclair exhaled loudly.

Would agree with you that a 3rd trial is unlikely.

No 3rd trial.

The bizarre thing is that the sex they had on the desk (where he accidently anally penetrated her) was regarded as consensual, whilst the sex they had prior to that on the bed was not regarded as consensual. It's like the police have taken the entire incident, from when they met in the club to when they parted ways, and split it up into multiple separate events, all independent of one another. Surely her behaviour and their behaviour before during and after the incident is critical in ascertaining what happened, who is telling the truth etc 

It seems the police are hyper-focused on the victim stating she did not give consent and ignoring everything else. In a he said she said scenario where there needs to be some supporting evidence and/or the victim needs a degree of credibility, and there is neither of these.

Their behaviour is predatory, but they are not rapists and it's incidents like this that will harm future rape trials. 

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Posted (edited)

THIS IS WHAT COMES INTO CONSIDERATION IF THERE IS TO BE A THIRD TRIAL

Will DPP move for the third trial against NRL stars Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair?

Two hung juries, three shattered lives, where to now? There will need to be exceptional circumstances to hold a third trial over rape allegations against NRL stars Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair.
Will NRL star Jack de Belin stand trial over rape allegations for the third time? The multimillion-dollar question will ultimately come down to the call of the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC and his deputies.
But it will not just be a gut feeling call.
Two hung juries and the possibility of a third trial is an extremely rare situation.
But the Office of the DPP has guidelines that set out what must be considered when deciding to prosecute for a third time.
Under the NRL’s “no-fault stand-down policy”, de Belin, 30, a high-profile player for the St George-Illawarra Dragons, has not played a game since he was charged in December 2018.
De Belin and Shellharbour Sharks player Callan Sinclair are accused of raping a woman at a North Wollongong unit during a night out in December 2018.
Since then, two trials in the District Court have resulted in divided jurors unable to reach an agreement on whether the two men are guilty or not.
Asked this week if Mr. Babb had come to a decision, a ODPP spokeswoman said: “No decision has been made concerning whether the matter will proceed to a further trial. A decision will be made before the matter is next in court.”
ODPP insiders were more clear in telling The Saturday Telegraph that a third trial was unlikely, but not impossible.
The main reason for a third trial not happening was because of the circumstances where two juries were divided, with little reason to believe a third set of jurors would be any different — making it a pointless exercise.
One insider said: “There is absolutely 99.99 per cent chance that they will not do it again — not after two hung juries.”
Another had a different view.
“Officially, the ODPP is only concerned with applying the law. But this is an extremely high-profile matter, and to be seen to be dropping the case could be interpreted as backing down, so it might be run again anyway.”
During the last court appearance, after the second jury were discharged, Crown Prosecutor David Scully SC told Judge Nicole Noman SC that the ODPP would consider its position and update the court on whether a third trial would occur when the matter next appeared in court, on May 28.
Until then, let’s take a look at what Mr Babb will have to consider.
According to the ODPP’s Prosecution Guidelines, it is a simple equation and comes down to one factor.
“Where two juries have been unable to agree upon a verdict, a retrial will be directed only in exceptional circumstances,” the guidelines say. “Any such direction must be given by the Director or a Deputy Director.”
It sounds simple, but there are some complexities when it comes to “exceptional circumstances”.
So what are they?
EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Exceptional circumstances is a conveniently broad term and no definition is given in the prosecution guidelines.
But one DPP source said there were three major factors when considering if exceptional circumstances exist.
The first is: Is there new and compelling evidence to warrant hearing the case again?
“But we’re not talking small meaningless evidence,” the source said. “It has to be new and compelling evidence that could push the jury to a decision in either direction.
“If not, there is no point going to all the cost of hearing the case again if it’s going to be a hung jury again,” the source said.
The second factor considers the reason why the jurors could not come to a decision in the first two trials.
This supports an argument for de Belin not standing trial a third time.
“If the juries were discharged for reasons other than they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision, this could be considered as an exceptional circumstance,” the ODPP source said.
“(Examples would be) If jurors were discharged for researching things on the internet or if one of them was sick — it goes to if there is a possibility that the jurors could reach a decision and didn’t get the chance,” the source said.
The third factor is whether the jury was close to reaching a unanimous decision in one or both of the earlier trials.
In these cases, they weren’t.
Towards the end of the second trial, Judge Noman asked the jury if they were close to a majority verdict.
This means the jury could be allowed to declare a verdict if there was an 11-1 split between what the jurors thought the verdict should be.
Usually, the courts require all 12 jurors to agree on the verdict.
The jury informed judge Noman that this was not the case, indicating that the jury was divided and could not even come to a majority verdict.
From a legal perspective, it supports the argument for not running the case again, the DPP source said.
“Twice the jury couldn’t agree — and there is nothing to suggest anything will change if they go for a third time,” the source said.
COSTS IN THE MILLIONS
The other elements that will come up for consideration are the public interest and the cost to both accused to run the trial a third time — and whether either can be justified.
Both are simple considerations, and weigh up the benefits of what will be achieved through a third trial, as well as the cost to the public purse and both footballers.
On the public side of it, the costs will include the resources used for the trial that include a crown prosecutor for another two-week trial, their solicitors, the time allocated for the judge to hear the case and everything down to the court that will be used.
“The question will be: Is a third time for the case more important than the other cases the lawyers could be working on, that the judge could be hearing and that the courtroom could be used for?” the DPP source said.
For de Belin and Sinclair, the case would have come at a huge financial cost to hire lawyers to defend them and — particularly for de Belin — the amount of money he has lost by not playing for the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
So is it fair that they have to pay again?
This needs to be weighed up against the likelihood that the jury will reach a verdict.
One defence lawyer estimated that de Belin — who has retained David Campbell SC to defend him — would be closing in on $1 million for his court costs.
So far, de Belin has retained barristers and solicitors to defend him for two criminal trials — the last of which ran for 2½ weeks — and his challenge to the Federal Court of Australia against the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.
“To give you a picture, his barrister would cost anywhere from $7000 to $10,000 a day and his solicitors would likely charge $3000 to $4000 a day,” the criminal lawyer said.
“And there is also preparation time that needs to be paid for if I was doing this trial,” the lawyer said. “I did a similar trial and charged for a week of prep time because that is how long you need to spend examining the material to defend someone.”
Given the way the cases have played out, there is next to no chance that the court could order the ODPP to pay De Belin and Sinclair’s legal fees.
In short, if a case goes spectacularly badly for the prosecution, the judge can make an order that the ODPP pay the legal costs of the accused.
But the DPP source said this would not happen.
“The fact that there has been two hung juries means there was a prima facie case,” the source said. “You don’t get costs orders in lineball cases.”
A prima facie case means there was enough evidence to justify prosecutors bringing a case to court.
“But this needs to be weighed up against the idea that you can’t just keep pounding an accused with trial after trial,” the DPP source said.
THE ALLEGED VICTIM AND THE POLICE
The DPP will also consider the opinions of the alleged victim in the case and the police when making the decision about a third trial.
One of the primary considerations is the mental health of the woman.
Will it be damaging to her psychologically to expect her to give evidence, in what can be a combative environment, for a third time?
Or should a recording of her evidence from the first two trials be played to a jury in the third trial to avoid this?
But if it is just a recording from two cases where two juries could not decide, is there any expectation that a third jury would come to a different decision to the first two?
The police are also key stakeholders in that they collected all of the evidence used to prosecute the case, so they need to have a say.
Police close to the case said they believed a third trial was unlikely because of the inevitable extra trauma the alleged victim would face.
The high-profile case had also taken its toll on other prosecution witnesses.
But they stressed no decision had been made and it was still on the “discussion table” and being considered very carefully.
Ultimately the final decision lay with the DPP, police said.
The alleged victim declined to comment.
To some observers, it may seem unusual that de Belin and Sinclair could be found not guilty of charges they anally raped the complainant but that the jury could still be undecided on charges relating to the rest of the alleged sexual assault.
According to one criminal defence lawyer, this is because each of the charges de Belin and Sinclair face relate to individual and specific acts that allegedly occurred.
“In this case, you’ve got to have the physical element — the act — and the mental element — the intent to do it,” the lawyer said. “If it occurred accidentally and there was no intent the person can’t be guilty of the offence.”
The evidence in the case appeared to back this theory.
In court, the complainant agreed she was facing de Belin with her back to the wall and claimed he turned her legs to the side and deliberately tried to penetrate her other orifice.
“And that’s when I screamed ‘stop’ because it really hurt,” the woman told the court.
Asked by Crown Prosecutor David Scully what happened next, she replied: “He took it out.”
“Did he say anything?” Mr Scully continued.
“I think he said ‘sorry’,” she responded.
De Belin gave a similar account and gave evidence that “(I) accidentally prodded my penis inside … the wrong hole”.
“I could tell she grimaced and it wasn’t pleasant and said ‘oh’. I said ‘sorry’,” he told the court.
De Belin told the court “I asked her if she could help a brother out” and she guided him from there before the sex resumed, the court heard.
JUDGE ALONE TRIAL
If the trial was to be heard in front of a judge alone without a jury, it would be up for de Belin and Sinclair’s legal teams to argue for it.
This has not occurred so far.
AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT
Rape trials can live or die on the issue of consent.
A complainant alleges she did not consent and the accused ought to have known that, while the accused argues she actually was consenting, or that he had a reasonable belief in consent.
There is no obligation for the accused to give evidence, so the focus falls on the alleged victim to explain what she did or didn’t do to articulate her lack of consent.
In de Belin’s case, the complainant spent more than three days in the witness box answering questions in minute detail about her actions that night.
Did she look fondly into de Belin’s eyes? Why was she seen laughing with De Belin and Sinclair after the alleged assault if she really was raped?
A jury’s task in deciding whether there was no consent and whether the accused had no reasonable grounds for believing there was has been likened to mental gymnastics.
There is the legal definition of consent and then trying to decide what the accused’s state of mind was at the time.
On top of that, there are the judge’s directions that a jury must take on board during deliberations and their own assessment of the alleged victim’s credibility.
It is estimated less than 10 per cent of all sexual assaults reported to NSW Police result in finalised charges in court.
Edited by R L Winger
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49 minutes ago, R L Winger said:

THIS IS WHAT COMES INTO CONSIDERATION IF THERE IS TO BE A THIRD TRIAL

Will DPP move for the third trial against NRL stars Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair?

Two hung juries, three shattered lives, where to now? There will need to be exceptional circumstances to hold a third trial over rape allegations against NRL stars Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair.
Will NRL star Jack de Belin stand trial over rape allegations for the third time? The multimillion-dollar question will ultimately come down to the call of the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC and his deputies.
But it will not just be a gut feeling call.
Two hung juries and the possibility of a third trial is an extremely rare situation.
But the Office of the DPP has guidelines that set out what must be considered when deciding to prosecute for a third time.
Under the NRL’s “no-fault stand-down policy”, de Belin, 30, a high-profile player for the St George-Illawarra Dragons, has not played a game since he was charged in December 2018.
De Belin and Shellharbour Sharks player Callan Sinclair are accused of raping a woman at a North Wollongong unit during a night out in December 2018.
Since then, two trials in the District Court have resulted in divided jurors unable to reach an agreement on whether the two men are guilty or not.
Asked this week if Mr. Babb had come to a decision, a ODPP spokeswoman said: “No decision has been made concerning whether the matter will proceed to a further trial. A decision will be made before the matter is next in court.”
ODPP insiders were more clear in telling The Saturday Telegraph that a third trial was unlikely, but not impossible.
The main reason for a third trial not happening was because of the circumstances where two juries were divided, with little reason to believe a third set of jurors would be any different — making it a pointless exercise.
One insider said: “There is absolutely 99.99 per cent chance that they will not do it again — not after two hung juries.”
Another had a different view.
“Officially, the ODPP is only concerned with applying the law. But this is an extremely high-profile matter, and to be seen to be dropping the case could be interpreted as backing down, so it might be run again anyway.”
During the last court appearance, after the second jury were discharged, Crown Prosecutor David Scully SC told Judge Nicole Noman SC that the ODPP would consider its position and update the court on whether a third trial would occur when the matter next appeared in court, on May 28.
Until then, let’s take a look at what Mr Babb will have to consider.
According to the ODPP’s Prosecution Guidelines, it is a simple equation and comes down to one factor.
“Where two juries have been unable to agree upon a verdict, a retrial will be directed only in exceptional circumstances,” the guidelines say. “Any such direction must be given by the Director or a Deputy Director.”
It sounds simple, but there are some complexities when it comes to “exceptional circumstances”.
So what are they?
EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Exceptional circumstances is a conveniently broad term and no definition is given in the prosecution guidelines.
But one DPP source said there were three major factors when considering if exceptional circumstances exist.
The first is: Is there new and compelling evidence to warrant hearing the case again?
“But we’re not talking small meaningless evidence,” the source said. “It has to be new and compelling evidence that could push the jury to a decision in either direction.
“If not, there is no point going to all the cost of hearing the case again if it’s going to be a hung jury again,” the source said.
The second factor considers the reason why the jurors could not come to a decision in the first two trials.
This supports an argument for de Belin not standing trial a third time.
“If the juries were discharged for reasons other than they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision, this could be considered as an exceptional circumstance,” the ODPP source said.
“(Examples would be) If jurors were discharged for researching things on the internet or if one of them was sick — it goes to if there is a possibility that the jurors could reach a decision and didn’t get the chance,” the source said.
The third factor is whether the jury was close to reaching a unanimous decision in one or both of the earlier trials.
In these cases, they weren’t.
Towards the end of the second trial, Judge Noman asked the jury if they were close to a majority verdict.
This means the jury could be allowed to declare a verdict if there was an 11-1 split between what the jurors thought the verdict should be.
Usually, the courts require all 12 jurors to agree on the verdict.
The jury informed judge Noman that this was not the case, indicating that the jury was divided and could not even come to a majority verdict.
From a legal perspective, it supports the argument for not running the case again, the DPP source said.
“Twice the jury couldn’t agree — and there is nothing to suggest anything will change if they go for a third time,” the source said.
COSTS IN THE MILLIONS
The other elements that will come up for consideration are the public interest and the cost to both accused to run the trial a third time — and whether either can be justified.
Both are simple considerations, and weigh up the benefits of what will be achieved through a third trial, as well as the cost to the public purse and both footballers.
On the public side of it, the costs will include the resources used for the trial that include a crown prosecutor for another two-week trial, their solicitors, the time allocated for the judge to hear the case and everything down to the court that will be used.
“The question will be: Is a third time for the case more important than the other cases the lawyers could be working on, that the judge could be hearing and that the courtroom could be used for?” the DPP source said.
For de Belin and Sinclair, the case would have come at a huge financial cost to hire lawyers to defend them and — particularly for de Belin — the amount of money he has lost by not playing for the St George-Illawarra Dragons.
So is it fair that they have to pay again?
This needs to be weighed up against the likelihood that the jury will reach a verdict.
One defence lawyer estimated that de Belin — who has retained David Campbell SC to defend him — would be closing in on $1 million for his court costs.
So far, de Belin has retained barristers and solicitors to defend him for two criminal trials — the last of which ran for 2½ weeks — and his challenge to the Federal Court of Australia against the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.
“To give you a picture, his barrister would cost anywhere from $7000 to $10,000 a day and his solicitors would likely charge $3000 to $4000 a day,” the criminal lawyer said.
“And there is also preparation time that needs to be paid for if I was doing this trial,” the lawyer said. “I did a similar trial and charged for a week of prep time because that is how long you need to spend examining the material to defend someone.”
Given the way the cases have played out, there is next to no chance that the court could order the ODPP to pay De Belin and Sinclair’s legal fees.
In short, if a case goes spectacularly badly for the prosecution, the judge can make an order that the ODPP pay the legal costs of the accused.
But the DPP source said this would not happen.
“The fact that there has been two hung juries means there was a prima facie case,” the source said. “You don’t get costs orders in lineball cases.”
A prima facie case means there was enough evidence to justify prosecutors bringing a case to court.
“But this needs to be weighed up against the idea that you can’t just keep pounding an accused with trial after trial,” the DPP source said.
THE ALLEGED VICTIM AND THE POLICE
The DPP will also consider the opinions of the alleged victim in the case and the police when making the decision about a third trial.
One of the primary considerations is the mental health of the woman.
Will it be damaging to her psychologically to expect her to give evidence, in what can be a combative environment, for a third time?
Or should a recording of her evidence from the first two trials be played to a jury in the third trial to avoid this?
But if it is just a recording from two cases where two juries could not decide, is there any expectation that a third jury would come to a different decision to the first two?
The police are also key stakeholders in that they collected all of the evidence used to prosecute the case, so they need to have a say.
Police close to the case said they believed a third trial was unlikely because of the inevitable extra trauma the alleged victim would face.
The high-profile case had also taken its toll on other prosecution witnesses.
But they stressed no decision had been made and it was still on the “discussion table” and being considered very carefully.
Ultimately the final decision lay with the DPP, police said.
The alleged victim declined to comment.
To some observers, it may seem unusual that de Belin and Sinclair could be found not guilty of charges they anally raped the complainant but that the jury could still be undecided on charges relating to the rest of the alleged sexual assault.
According to one criminal defence lawyer, this is because each of the charges de Belin and Sinclair face relate to individual and specific acts that allegedly occurred.
“In this case, you’ve got to have the physical element — the act — and the mental element — the intent to do it,” the lawyer said. “If it occurred accidentally and there was no intent the person can’t be guilty of the offence.”
The evidence in the case appeared to back this theory.
In court, the complainant agreed she was facing de Belin with her back to the wall and claimed he turned her legs to the side and deliberately tried to penetrate her other orifice.
“And that’s when I screamed ‘stop’ because it really hurt,” the woman told the court.
Asked by Crown Prosecutor David Scully what happened next, she replied: “He took it out.”
“Did he say anything?” Mr Scully continued.
“I think he said ‘sorry’,” she responded.
De Belin gave a similar account and gave evidence that “(I) accidentally prodded my penis inside … the wrong hole”.
“I could tell she grimaced and it wasn’t pleasant and said ‘oh’. I said ‘sorry’,” he told the court.
De Belin told the court “I asked her if she could help a brother out” and she guided him from there before the sex resumed, the court heard.
JUDGE ALONE TRIAL
If the trial was to be heard in front of a judge alone without a jury, it would be up for de Belin and Sinclair’s legal teams to argue for it.
This has not occurred so far.
AFFIRMATIVE CONSENT
Rape trials can live or die on the issue of consent.
A complainant alleges she did not consent and the accused ought to have known that, while the accused argues she actually was consenting, or that he had a reasonable belief in consent.
There is no obligation for the accused to give evidence, so the focus falls on the alleged victim to explain what she did or didn’t do to articulate her lack of consent.
In de Belin’s case, the complainant spent more than three days in the witness box answering questions in minute detail about her actions that night.
Did she look fondly into de Belin’s eyes? Why was she seen laughing with De Belin and Sinclair after the alleged assault if she really was raped?
A jury’s task in deciding whether there was no consent and whether the accused had no reasonable grounds for believing there was has been likened to mental gymnastics.
There is the legal definition of consent and then trying to decide what the accused’s state of mind was at the time.
On top of that, there are the judge’s directions that a jury must take on board during deliberations and their own assessment of the alleged victim’s credibility.
It is estimated less than 10 per cent of all sexual assaults reported to NSW Police result in finalised charges in court.

Thanks for that very detailed assessment of the current situation in the case. Just a comment that de Belin has been paid as per his contract since being stood down at St George and also been given social and general help. Thought he could train with them too but may be wrong on this point.

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On 15/05/2021 at 10:31, George Watt said:

Thanks for that very detailed assessment of the current situation in the case. Just a comment that de Belin has been paid as per his contract since being stood down at St George and also been given social and general help. Thought he could train with them too but may be wrong on this point.

He was certainly training with them last year. His salary I believe reducing the club cap and certainly included in the list of squad players.

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After two juries were unable to reach a verdict on Jack de Belin’s sexual assault case, there is reportedly a “99.99% chance” of no third trial.

The Daily Telegraph (Aus) reported a third trial being called after two hung juries is extremely rare, but the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will make the final call before the end of the month.

St George Illawarra Dragons forward de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair had each pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault stemming from an incident inside a North Wollongong unit on December 9, 2018.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Might well be playing for PNG in the World Cup later this year, he is apparently eligible and the Kangaroos won't go near him.

"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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2 hours ago, nadera78 said:

Might well be playing for PNG in the World Cup later this year, he is apparently eligible and the Kangaroos won't go near him.

Good , hope he does and has a great time 

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