Jury discharged after impasse in alleged child sex trial
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.