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.
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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Categories: Australian Federal Police