Jury dis­charged af­ter im­passe in al­leged child sex trial

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - PA­TRICK GEE

A JURY in a Supreme Court rape trial has been dis­charged from duty af­ter fail­ing to re­turn a ma­jor­ity ver­dict.

A 50-year-old Launce­s­ton man pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape.

He was ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a fam­ily friend’s four-year-old daugh­ter dur­ing the day in her fa­ther’s bed­room.

The girl’s grand­par­ents, un­cle, fa­ther and six other chil­dren were at an­other part of the prop­erty at the time the in­ci­dent was al­leged to have oc­curred.

The key wit­ness was the al­leged child vic­tim and there was no ma­te­rial or med­i­cal ev­i­dence.

Jus­tice Robert Pearce thanked the jury for their ser­vice.

The jury was sent out for a sec­ond day of de­lib­er­a­tions at 9.15am yes­ter­day by Jus­tice Pearce in Launce­s­ton on the fifth day of the trial

At 11.10am they ad­vised jus­tice Pearce a ma­jor­ity de­ci­sion could not be reached.

“Some­times the jury doesn’t agree and it’s a sign you’ve taken your paths and af­fir­ma­tions se­ri­ously,” he said.

The ac­cused man’s bail was con­tin­ued and the case ad­journed to Fe­bru­ary 3.

The state is yet to de­ter­mine whether it will pur­sue a sec­ond trial.

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