Australian Federal Police

Bruce Lehrmann would have been found guilty of raping Brittany Higgins except for one juror Shane Drumgold SC told Inquiry. Another Joh’s Jury? 

Shane Drumgold SC told the ACT Inquiry into the police cover-up attempt of the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins that he believes 11 of the 12 jurors would have found Bruce Lehrmann guilty of raping Brittany Higgins, as per the below video, and the one he believes would not was the same juror who caused the trial being aborted.

The ACT is one of the few jurisdictions, and possibly only one, in Australia that requires a unanimous judgment in a criminal trial. So, one juror can hold out and cause a mistrial. The juror in this matter that Shane Drumgold SC believes was holding out for the 5 days the jury deliberated was also the jury member who took material into to jury room during deliberations which caused the trial being aborted.

Jury was warned at least 17 times not to do own research which resulted in the aborted trial

The Lehrmann trial was aborted on the 27th of October 2022, and it was reported the next day:

The juror who caused the Bruce Lehrmann trial to be aborted brought a further two research papers on sexual assault into the jury room, which were discovered after the trial was abandoned on Thursday. The Lehrmann trial collapsed in sensational circumstances on Thursday after it was revealed a juror had brought in a research paper on sexual assault, contrary to repeated instructions.

In written reasons published late on Thursday, chief justice Lucy McCallum revealed that a further two documents have since been found. They were brought in by the same juror. “Following the discharge of the jury, I was informed by the sheriff’s officers that the same juror was also in possession of two additional academic articles on the topic of sexual assault,” McCallum wrote in a footnote.

McCallum had told jurors at least 17 times that they should not conduct outside research. The direction was given in no uncertain terms every day of the trial, sometimes on multiple occasions. (Click here to read more)

Shane Drumgold in the below video tells the Inquiry on Wednesday the 10th of May 2023 he believes only one juror was holding out for a guilty verdict. The media never reported it on Wednesday. On Thursday the 11th of May Shane Drumgold was asked again about his view that only one juror was holding out for a not guilty verdict and then the media reported it.

Joh’s Jury

The conduct of the jury member in the Lehrmann matter needs its own public inquiry and is reminiscent of the infamous Joh Jury where in 1991 former Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a National Party member, faced trial for perjury but it was declared a mistrial because the jury could not come to a unanimous agreement. Two jurors reportedly held out for a not guilty verdict and one of those jurors was the jury foreman Luke Shaw who was later found to be member of the Young Nationals. (Click here to read more)

There were also reports a corrupt former police officer vetted the jury for Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

“The plot has thickened in the continuing Joh Bjelke-Petersen trial saga with revelations in state parliament on November 13 that a former associate of the infamous Queensland police corrupt “rat pack” had snooped on potential jurors to check on their political backgrounds on behalf of the defence.” (Click here to read more)

Other issues raised at the Inquiry

Some media, especially the News Corp media, have been reporting that Shane Drumgold has backtracked on his allegation of a political conspiracy which he has to some degree but not to the degree being reported. Drumgold says he never made the allegation and only ever said a political conspiracy was a possibility. Shane Drumgold has continued to claim that Senator Linda Reynolds tried to coach Bruce Lehrmann’s barrister Steven Whybrow during the cross-examination of Brittany Higgins.

The Guardian reported (13/5/23):

Drumgold, at one stage, believed there was a “possible” political conspiracy to “kill” the case against Lehrmann. Later he revised his opinion, saying that, having seen all of the evidence, he believed a “skills deficit” in the investigating police explained “the many strange things” that concerned him about the case.

He told the inquiry he was deeply concerned about a lack of “objectivity” from investigating police, citing the secret coffee meeting between Whybrow and Boorman, Boorman’s ultimate refusal to be involved in charging Lehrmann, and Det Leading Sen Const Trent Madders’ claim he was physically ill when Lehrmann was charged.

“If you’re central to an investigation and your mindset is such that you’re going to be physically ill if your investigation results in charges, it can’t do anything but interfere with your objectivity during the course of an investigation.

“These were key people in an investigation, these people ran the investigation … they engaged with the complainant, every time the complainant went in to give some evidence, these were the views she was met with. (Click here to read more)

The enquiry still has a couple of months to go and there are many more witnesses to come. Shane Drumgold will have a break and be back in the witness stand in the future. Bruce Lehrmann’s barrister Steven Whybrow will give evidence on Monday (15/5/23) and I have to wonder if Bruce Lehrmann give evidence at the Inquiry, but I doubt it.

Drumgold’s evidence above raises the question: Will Shane Drumgold be subpoenaed to give evidence by the Channel 10, News Corp and the ABC who are defending defamation claims against Bruce Lehrmann?

This matter goes to the heart of government, judicial and police corruption so I will keep following it. The Inquiry is only scheduled to sit Monday and Tuesday next week and then start again the following Monday.

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17 replies »

  1. Amazing the difference in reporting the events of the inquiry by News Corp and KCA, who is running News Corps agenda?
    What are their motives? News Corp almost has the ACT DPP confessing his ‘guilt’ when it now appears not so as per KCA record of events..

  2. This entire saga smacks of a deliberate determination to sabotage this trial. From the time when the Higgins Rape became public there was a concerted effort to protect Bruce Lehrmann. Those colluding with such protection were the previous Prime Minister and the previous NSW Police Commissioner.
    This trial appears to have been subject to Political interference.

  3. I reckon Drumgold got info from an angry juror or court staff looking after the jury for its 5 days of deliberation. He does not have supernatural powers as he pretends.

  4. Interesting how one decision (Higgins agreeing to enter Parliament House late at night) could have such ramifications. How much money has this cost so far (including her $3m payout)? LNP coverup for an alleged rape not being a good look for the Party. I wonder if the truth will ever come out? Reputations trashed for what in the end?

  5. It’s so disgusting to have this level of corruption. It is a frightening prospect for the future and I mean the immediate future. Thanks for your work KCA.

  6. So Madders, one of the AFP’s finest, was “physically ill” when Lehrmann was charged? Poor little snowflake. His opinion about the facts, which it was his job to collect, was irrelevant. Lots of police officers get to see and hear lots of unpalatable things, it’s part of their job. If the DPP then thought the facts warranted a trial, so be it. This stinks.

  7. Why, on 8th February 2022, did then Prime Minister Scott Morrison, then Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Greens leader Adam Bandt and independent MP Zali Steggall all rise to their feet and formally apologize to Brittany Higgins who was sitting in the parliament’s Public Gallery on that day? Apologize for what? Bruce Lehrmann had not even been charged at that point let alone been found guilty by a Court of law. And why, subsequently, was Brittany Higgins then paid very substantial monetary compensation under a private and confidential settlement? Compensation for what? Is it any wonder that some people might suspect the potential for political interference regarding the Brittany Higgins Court case? It seems quite unusual that all sides of politics are at one in their efforts to so publicly support Brittany Higgins both morally and financially. Where does the presumption of Bruce Lehrmann’s innocence fit in to all this? Given the expenditure of public funds to compensate Brittany Higgins, doesn’t the general public deserve to know the answers to these questions?

      • Fair comment, Shane. I stand corrected. Lehrmann had been charged at the time the formal apologies were made. But the case did not proceed to trial until 4th October 2022. That still leaves the questions of why Brittany Higgins received multiple formal apologies from the Australia Parliament in February 2022 before the trial had even commenced, and why her compensation claim was settled in December 2022 before the case had even concluded?

      • The rape charge was withdrawn on the 2nd of December 2022 which means the case had been concluded. The media reported that Brittany Higgins settled her claim against the government 2 weeks later on the 14th of December.
        You raise some valid points but some points are based on the wrong information.

      • So, in the light of your more accurate information, Shane, we have (1) multiple formal apologies delivered to Brittany Higgins before her rape allegation had been tested in Court, and (2) very significant monetary compensation paid to Brittany Higgins after the rape charge was withdrawn. The burning primary question for both outcomes is “why”? Or perhaps the presumption of innocence is no longer a factor in our Court system?

      • You are confusing the issues the same as you confused some of the facts. If Brittany’s compensation claim had of gone to trial the government would have to explain how they lost the CTV footage from the night and why they failed their duty of care by allowing her into parliament late at night, drunk and without her pass. And Scott Morrison’s office was backgrounding journalists against her which would have come out in a civil trial etc etc.

  8. Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. But does that mean Brittany Higgins was paid “compensation” so that the Government could camouflage its failings rather than pay her for pain and suffering arising from an alleged sexual assault by Bruce Lehrmann? If the answer to my question is “yes”, then some people might conclude the payment to Brittany Higgins could be construed as a bribe rather than genuine compensation. Also, why would a newly elected Labor Government be interested in covering up for the previous Coalition Government? The failing you highlight was a Coalition failing, not a Labor failing. Unless, of course, the newly elected Labor Government felt guilty because it, too, had offered Brittany Higgins an unwarranted formal apology while in Opposition. It seems this entire murky episode has many unanswered questions – questions that might prove embarrassing to all sides of politics. Perhaps DPP Shane Drumgold is not the only person who needs to answer some serious questions?

  9. Correct me if I’m wrong, but video of Lehrmann and Higgins arriving at Parliament House was played in the trial. There was no video and never was any video inside the ministerial office.

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