Australia News

Ultimate notes within the Lehrmann trial


Throughout 12 days of taking proof, from 29 witnesses, Bruce Lehrmann’s trial, as a result of usually, rape trials have been all about her, he mentioned, however principally about what she was. he mentioned.

Allegedly having intercourse with former colleague Brittany Higgins with out her consent and recklessly not figuring out whether or not she consented, Lehrmann determined to not current proof, past an interview. The police interview was voluntary final yr and appeared in court docket.

In his last arguments, Lehrmann’s adviser, Steve Whybrow, reminded these on the ACT Supreme Court docket that that is his proper. “It isn’t like I can persuade you that she made this up,” Whybrow mentioned. “Mr Lehrmann has no purpose to show something.”

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum strengthened that time in directions to the jury Wednesday afternoon, shortly earlier than they retired to resolve: “It’s the prosecutor who’s answerable for proving the cost past cheap doubt. bodily.”

She informed the jury that they have been held accountable to the regulation, to not the general public, though journalists have been “nearly swinging off the rafters” in court docket.

Higgins alleges Lehrmann raped her on a sofa within the Capitol’s minister’s workplace by then-boss, Senator Linda Reynolds, within the early hours of Saturday, March 23, 2019, after a Drunk night time with colleagues.

Lehrmann pleaded not responsible. His legal professionals mentioned intercourse didn’t happen. Whybrow reminded the court docket there was no DNA proof to show something totally different.

Chief Justice McCallum informed jurors: “You’re anticipated to make use of your widespread sense … your understanding of human nature and your capacity to guage folks … You will have the precise to associated to your understanding and expertise of the character of reminiscence.”

She reminds them that an individual who’s closely drunk, unconscious, or asleep can not legally give consent.

No witnesses have been referred to as by the protection, some extent Whybrow argued in his conclusion. “There to be There aren’t any witnesses,” the protection legal professional mentioned. “It did not occur.”

That makes Higgins’ testimony – and credibility – so vital. Whybrow argued that every little thing was turned up “accepted past cheap doubt … the reality, the accuracy of what Brittany Higgins has informed you in her proof”.

He accused Higgins of mendacity. Prosecutors additionally accused Lehrmann of the identical.

So it turned her phrase, interrogated in court docket, towards his phrases, which weren’t, staged with arguments about what might need motivated every of them. they are saying and do what they did, and proof of the circumstances. These circumstances embrace the occasions of the night time in query and what has occurred within the three years since, together with Higgins’ two-year delay in formalizing her invoice of grievance to the police and a ebook contract price $325,000.

Justice McCallum gives recommendation: “There isn’t a blueprint for all times and no blueprint for a sexual assault and the way a younger lady would possibly reply to a sexual assault.” .

On 22 March 2019, Higgins and Lehrmann and a bigger group had drinks on Friday night time at The Dock, a lakeside bar within the Canberra suburb of Kingston. CCTV footage reveals Higgins consuming 11 drinks over the course of 4 and a half hours, two of which Lehrmann is seen shopping for. Two years later, in his police interview, Lehrmann referred to as it an “harmless” night time and the extent of consuming “nothing out of the abnormal”.

Simply earlier than midnight, the group disbanded. Higgins and Lehrmann continued to a nightclub, 88mph, with one other pair of workers. There they’ve extra drinks, together with picture shoots. Nobody remembers what number of. The nightclub digicam has no visibility. Higgins mentioned she fell as they left and Lehrmann helped her up. He informed police he had by no means seen her fall.

On what began as a joint journey house, Lehrmann mentioned he wanted to cease by their Homes of Parliament workplace. Within the interview with the police, he rated his personal degree of drunkenness as 7/10, equal to Higgins.

CCTV footage reveals Higgins taking off his excessive heels to undergo a safety scanner. Unable to place them again on with out undue steadiness, she carried them, racing to meet up with Lehrmann and the guard with the workplace key. The image reveals her smiling. She’s going to describe her situation to police in 2021 as “very drunk”.

Lehrmann informed police that once they entered the room, he turned left and went to his desk and he or she turned proper, in direction of the chief of employees and minister’s workplace. He does not know why.

Higgins mentioned she sat on a window ledge and ultimately handed out on the minister’s sofa however does not bear in mind how she received there. She mentioned she woke as much as discover Lehrmann on prime of her and within her. Higgins mentioned she repeatedly informed him to cease however he did not, and when he completed, he stood up and “most likely received dressed”. She remembers a second when he checked out her silently and he or she checked out him, after which he left.

CCTV imaginative and prescient confirmed them coming into the constructing at 1.41am. Lehrmann informed police that after coming into the minister’s room, he didn’t see Higgins once more that night time nor did he examine on her earlier than leaving.

He informed them that Higgins had mentioned she additionally wanted to return to congress. She informed the court docket: “There isn’t a purpose for me to return to Parliament Home at 2am.”

Lehrmann informed police he supplied to share an Uber: “I feel I am a gentleman.”

Requested later in the identical interview why he left the workplace with out her, and with out checking, Lehrmann mentioned: “There was no settlement to depart collectively.”

The court docket heard him hailing one other Uber and leaving the constructing alone at 2:33 a.m. His lawyer mentioned his seen haste was to ensure he did not miss his experience.

A safety guard who later went to examine on Higgins reported discovering her utterly bare on the sofa. When she awoke within the morning, Higgins mentioned, her costume was already ruched round her waist. The choose famous the dim lighting, saying that the underside line was that by each accounts, she was bare from the waist down.

Higgins was questioned about her underwear and informed the court docket she did not put on any as a result of her tight, lace-up, white night robe would reveal her lingerie strains. The protection mentioned she initially informed a journalist Lehrmann to take off her panties. She additionally mentioned she was “incorrect” about how lengthy she stored the costume beneath the mattress earlier than deciding to clean it and put on it once more. After she testified in court docket six months, the protection launched a photograph of her sporting it just some weeks later.

Higgins spoke to police inside days of the alleged incident. A federal election known as three weeks later. In her “dream job” as a communications marketing consultant to a federal minister, she mentioned she felt pressured by chiefs of employees and their bosses to decide on between formalizing the grievance. attraction and hold working, an choice they refused to ask her to make. She selected to not go any additional.

The election on Might 18, 2019, noticed the federal government again in and he or she took a brand new job with minister Michaelia Money, however mentioned she has struggled with trauma and stress from the case. alleged assault. In February final yr, nearly two years after the alleged incident, she stop her job and returned to the police. Towards their recommendation, she gave interviews to 2 media organizations earlier than conducting her two police interviews. The rape allegation broke out in public on February 15 final yr, and he or she accepted a contract to purchase the ebook.

This week, whereas giving proof, Linda Reynolds was confronted with suspicions of sending a textual content message to protection attorneys asking for transcripts of Higgins’ cross-examination, two hours after it. starting and earlier than her personal testimony. A minute later, she texted once more, suggesting that he would possibly discover messages between Higgins and one other “disclosure” worker. Whybrow denied each her request and advice, reporting the messages to the prosecutor and the choose.

The prosecutor accused her of making an attempt to provide a “tip” to the protection. Reynolds mentioned she did not understand her actions have been inappropriate.

Reynolds’ accomplice was in court docket to take Higgins’ testimony, the court docket heard. The previous minister insists he informed her nothing about it in entrance of her eyes.

Reynolds and Money each denied it might be politically embarrassing to go public that two Liberal staff have been embroiled in a rape allegation forward of the election.

“Completely not,” Money informed the prosecutor. “I do not understand how it may be politically embarrassing.”

Money and Higgins differ when Money learns of sexual assault allegations. Money mentioned it has till February 5, 2021 – six days after Higgins resigned and 10 days earlier than her allegations are made public. Higgins mentioned that was in 2019.

In her last arguments, Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold mentioned Higgins had been utterly constant for greater than three years about what she mentioned occurred that night time.

“If this can be a fabrication,” he informed the jury, “she appears fairly an actress.”

Drumgold mentioned the incident had nothing to do with “partisan politics or workplace tradition” nor whether or not younger folks ought to drink as a lot as they did that night time. It isn’t about “whether or not Brittany Higgins likes Linda Reynolds” or whether or not the response to the alleged incident on the Capitol was acceptable. “That is not the expertise of different girls, or the Me Too motion.”

He mentioned, about one factor: “what occurred in a room, on a sofa”.

Drumgold informed the court docket Lehrmann was drawn to Higgins – she mentioned he had been making an attempt to kiss her for a number of weeks earlier than the alleged incident and he or she had turned him down – and had maneuvered to get alone a drunk, susceptible younger lady.

Steve Whybrow, for Lehrmann, mentioned that it was tough to gauge the demeanor of the “scammers” and that Higgins fabricated a narrative about an assault to avoid wasting her job, fearing punishment for going to Court docket. Parliament home late at night time, unapproved and drunk. Resuming her case, Whybrow mentioned: “She simply did not know what occurred.” As for why she returned to the police after two years, he mentioned: “There are 325,000 causes.”

The court docket heard Lehrmann give 4 totally different causes for going to the Homes of Parliament that night time. He informed his chief of employees, Fiona Brown, and one other senior employees member of the minister that the couple went to parliament to drink whiskey.

However he was recorded on an intercom telling congressional guards that that they had been “requested” to acquire paperwork. Clearly not true, and he later denied it, in a letter to his boss. As a result of leaving prime secret Protection paperwork unclassified on his desk weeks earlier, Lehrmann’s contract was terminated.

Two years later, he informed police he went again to parliament to get his keys – an evidence supported, his lawyer mentioned, by CCTV footage displaying him empty-handed when arrived with out seeing the important thing. He additionally informed police that he wished to work on summarizing query time, following useful conversations with Protection sorts earlier within the night.

At press time, the jury has but to succeed in a verdict.

This text was first revealed within the print version of The Saturday Paper on October 22, 2022 as “The Ultimate Testimony”.

A free press is the one you pay for. Now’s the time to enroll.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button