Jurors in rape trial sent home
JURORS in the District Court trial of a Warwick man charged with the rape and sexual abuse of his daughter have been sent home for the third day in a row as lawyers in the case remain mired in legal argument.
A five-man and seven-woman jury was sworn in on Monday morning to try the case, after the man pleaded not guilty to 12 charges.
The District Court is on a current two-week sitting in Warwick under Judge Marshall Irwin, who sent the jury home on Monday due to legal technicalities which had to be sorted out between the prosecution and defence teams.
His Honour also had to attend the funeral of a close friend at Oakey on Monday afternoon, with the jurors required to present themselves at court at 2pm on Tuesday.
They were dismissed a second time and directed to return at midday today for the start of the trial, but were once again sent away while Crown Prosecutor Isaac Munsie and defence lawyer Robbie Davies continue to thrash out issues related to the presentation of evidence.
It is unclear at this stage if the trial will be ready to proceed tomorrow morning and could result in further inconvenience for the jury, who had initially been given to expect the trial could have been wrapped up either today or tomorrow.
The accused – who cannot be named as it could identify the complainant in the case – is charged with four counts of rape, five counts of unlawful and indecent dealing with a child, two counts of assault and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under the age of 12, known to him to be a direct descendant.
It will be alleged by the Crown that the girl was about four and five years old at the time the offences are alleged to have taken place, with the complaints dating back to the early to mid 1990s.