Jury reaches a unanimous verdict on ONE of the charges against Jack de Belin and his friend – but the decision will be kept under wraps for now
- A District Court jury has reached a unanimous verdict on one of the six charges
- But the jury’s decision on the sex assault charge will remain under wraps for now
- Judge Nicole Noman urged 12 jurors to continue deliberating on other offences
- There are five further charges to consider against Jack De Belin, Callan Sinclair
- Both denied raping a young woman in December 2018, claiming she consented
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 reached a verdict on one of the six rape charges in the trial of footballer Jack de Belin and his friend Callan Sinclair.
But their decision will remain under wraps for now, with District Court Judge Nicole Noman ordering the 12 jurors to keep trying to reach a verdict on the remaining five charges.
In a note to the judge read in court on Monday, the jury said they had been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the outstanding offences.
‘We have been through a rigorous process of examining all of the evidence proferred in the trial,’ the jury note said.
Judge Noman told the jury that she wouldn’t accept the single verdict they had reached for now.
‘I don’t propose to take your verdict in relation to Count Six at this stage,’ the judge said. The charge relates to an allegation de Belin anally raped the then-19-year-old while Sinclair was in an adjacent room.
The jury is in its sixth day of deliberations over sexual assault charges against the St George Illawarra forward, 30, and his friend Callan Sinclair, 24.
Both pleaded not guilty to allegations that they raped a young woman after a night out in Sydney’s south in December 2018, arguing that it was a consensual threesome.
Callan Sinclair outside court last week. The amateur footballer is also facing a series of charges
The judge said past experience showed juries can often agree if given enough time to consider and discuss the issues.
The jury were handed a lengthy list of the judge’s directions on Thursday, after sending Judge Noman a note asking for a copy of the 34-page document.
The jury also asked the judge if they could sit into this week. Judge Noman is overseeing the Sydney trial remotely, from Nowra, as of Monday.
At trial, the jury heard that 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 that he said to the girl ‘You, me and Cal?’ and the trio went back to his cousin’s apartment.
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,’ said prosecutor David Scully.
The St George Illawarra forward, 30, has been benched while facing the charges in court
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.
The deliberations continue at the Downing Centre District Court.