Man found not guilty of glassing offence

AN acquittal topped the list of birthday presents for Michael Baillie on Monday, concluding a four-day trial.

Baillie, who had pleaded not guilty to one count of assault occassioning bodily harm with an instrument, was supported by the jury, which returned a not guilty verdict at 3.40pm.

The prosecution in the glassing trial claimed Baillie had hit Jason Sorafumo with a glass to the side of the head, but the claim was discharged in Gladstone District Court.

The trial, which started on Wednesday, presented eight crown witnesses including testimony from the alleged victim.

On February 17, 2013, Sorafumo sustained a serious laceration to the cheek, piercing an artery and requiring extensive surgery.

The jury also considered evidence given by two others present at the time of the offence, as well as three attending police officers and two expert witnesses in the fields of DNA analysis and forensic science.

During his summing up, defence barrister David Murray claimed the attending police officers called to the crime scene had completed the "bare minimum" in investigations.

Mr Murray also highlighted significant flaws within the Crown case, including a lack of DNA evidence linking Baillie to the crime.

Presiding Judge Brad Farr noted during his summing up that all of the three witnesses present at the time of the offence, including Kerry Ann Jonston, Graham Randalf and Jason Sorafumo had, in their own admission, been adversely affected by alcohol consumption on the night of February 17, 2013.

It was also revealed during testimony that none of the three witnesses present had actually seen the alleged offence take place.

Crown prosecutor Sarah Dennis described the evening's sequence of events as "rapidly occurring".

She also rued the lack of DNA evidence.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for one hour on Monday afternoon, before disparities in the Crown case were found to be insufficient to convict.

The decision meant that Baillie not only celebrated his birthday on Monday, but his freedom.



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