Man found guilty of child sex offences after 13 hours

THIRTEEN hours of jury deliberations could not deliver a unanimous decision, but it did land a man behind bars.

The fourth day of the trial of a man accused of three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12 came to a conclusion in Gladstone District Court after 6pm on Thursday, with the jury having to rely on a majority verdict to reach a decisions of guilty.

Thursday's proceedings began with Judge Paul Smith re-reading the oath undertaken by the jury, at their request, reminding them they must conscientiously try the evidence against the accused, and base their decision solely on the testimony and exhibits put before them during the trial.

Judge Smith implored the jury to use caution when weighing up the evidence of the young victim; a girl who was eight at the time of the offences.

"In this case the only direct evidence against the defendant is the evidence of (the victim), so you must consider her evidence with great scrutiny," Judge Smith said.

After being re-retired shortly after 9am, the jury again requested the assistance of the court at about 2.30pm on Thursday, after struggling to reach a unified decision.

Judge Smith then directed the jurors they each had a duty to listen to the opinions of all other jurors, before coming to their decision.

Just after 4pm, over 11 hours after deliberations had begun, the jury again called on the assistance of the court, after concluding they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.

However after further deliberations, Judge Smith eventually notified the jury of the majority verdict available to them.

"A verdict of 11 of you may be taken as the verdict of the entire jury," he said, before retiring them again shortly before 5pm.

At just after 6pm, almost 13.5 gruelling hours since they first began considerations, the jurors arrived at a majority verdict decision, finding the defendant guilty on all three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

The 11-1 guilty verdicts were returned on the three separate indictments, which included one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16, under 12, one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16, under 12 (permit) and one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16, under 12 (expose).

The defendant will be sentenced in Gladstone District Court on Monday.

The trial

  • Jury retired for over 13 hours before reaching majority verdicts
  • Defendant found guilty on three charges of indecent treatment of a child under 12

Topics:  gladstone crime gladstone district court indecent treatment of a child

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