Jury can't decide in child molestation case

A JURY has been unable to come to a majority verdict in the trial of a man who was accused of molesting his step-daughter, after nine hours deliberating.

It was the third time the man had been tried on the matter.

Judge Brendan Butler said while it was a matter for the prosecution whether to proceed again, he invited the office to take note of his summing up and directions to the jury.

He reminded the prosecutor of the extent of the warnings he felt necessary to give, and the apparent discrepancies in the evidence.

The jury was discharged at 5:27pm on Friday.

The matter was adjourned to the next District Court call over and the defendant's bail was extended.

At 4:31pm the jury had written a note to Judge Butler saying after much careful consideration the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.

Judge Butler exercised his discretion by inviting the jury to consider the matter on the basis that they may reach a majority verdict.

A majority verdict is when 11 jurors can come to agreement, but this jury was unable to do so.

Crown prosecutor Clare Hurley said she was unable to say whether the matter would proceed to trial again, and defence barrister Tom Polley declined to comment.



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