BREAKING NEWS: Jury reaches a verdict on ONE of the charges against Jack de Belin and his friend – but the decision will be kept under wraps for now
The jury has reached a verdict on one of the charges against Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair – but the decision will be kept under wraps for now
A jury has come to a decision on one of the six rape charges in the trial of footballer Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair – but the decision remains under wraps.
District Court Judge Nicole Noman on Monday morning ordered the 12 jurors to keep trying to reach a unanimous verdict on the other five charges.
Judge Noman told the jury that she wouldn’t accept the single verdict the jury had reached on one aggravated sexual assault charge for now.
‘I don’t propose to take your verdict in relation to Count Six at this stage,’ the judge said, telling them to keep trying on the outstanding charges.
The jury is in its sixth day of deliberating on aggravated sexual assault charges against the St George Illawarra forward, 30, and his friend Callan Sinclair.
Both pleaded not guilty to allegations that they raped a young woman after a night out in Sydney’s south in December 2018, arguing it was a consensual threesome.
The trial heard the teenager, who already knew Sinclair, met de Belin on the dancefloor during Wollongong’s Santa Public Crawl.
After some dancing, de Belin told the court he said to the girl ‘You, me and Cal?’ and the trio went back to his cousin’s apartment.
He claimed the woman responded with a wink and a smile once the footballer confirmed he could keep a secret from his girlfriend.
The men denied seeing any sign the woman hadn’t consented, claiming she muttered ‘yes’ and ‘enjoyed’ herself during the encounter.
But prosecutors said the accused men’s evidence was ‘sprinkled’ with words and actions ‘to turn the narrative into a false picture of a consensual sexual encounter’.
‘They just went too far and it became inherently implausible,’ David Scully said.
However, in closing submissions, de Belin’s lawyer dubbed the accuser ‘inherently unreliable’.
‘This woman is the sort of person who takes a grain of fact and then moulds it, changes it, distorts it and uses it to tell a tale,’ David Campbell SC told jurors more than a week ago.
Sinclair’s lawyer reminded the jury their decision should not be about sympathy, emotion or even whether the woman was lying.
‘Not guilty means you’re not satisfied the Crown has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt,’ Sharyn Hall said.