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 is deadlocked over the five remaining charges, the court has heard
- Judge Nicole Noman urged 12 jurors to continue deliberating on other offences
- Jurors are each ‘firm and resolute’ on their verdicts, a later note to judge said
- Both Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair deny raping 19-year-old in December 2018
- They have claimed the sex at a North Wollongong unit was consensual
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
The jury in the rape trial of footballer Jack de Belin and his mate Callan Sinclair has reached a unanimous verdict for one of the six charges.
But the NSW District Court has heard the 12 jurors ‘definitely’ can’t reach a unanimous decision on the five remaining counts against the pair.
In a note to the judge read out in a Sydney court about 1pm, the jurors said they were each ‘firm and resolute’ in their verdicts.
When the jury foreperson was asked if they could reach a unanimous verdict on the outstanding charges given further time, he said: ‘Definitely not’.
Judge Nicole Noman then ordered the Sydney jury to try to reach an 11 to 1 majority verdict on the charges.
The jury is in its sixth day of deliberations over the sexual assault claims against the suspended St George Illawarra forward, 30, and his mate, 24.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming they had consensual sex with the 19-year-old alleged victim in December 2018.
The single verdict the jury has been able to reach relates to an allegation de Belin anally raped a 19-year-old woman while Sinclair is in another room.
Callan Sinclair outside court last week. The amateur footballer is also facing a series of charges
However the verdict reached remains a mystery, with Judge Noman keeping the decision under wraps until the jury reaches a position on the remaining charges.
In an earlier note to the judge read in court on Monday, the jury said they have ‘been through a rigorous process of examining all of the evidence proferred in the trial’.
But they said they did not believe it was possible to reach a verdict on the other charges.
‘I don’t propose to take your verdict in relation to Count Six at this stage,’ the judge said. The judge said past experience showed juries can often agree if given enough time to consider and discuss the issues.
‘But if, after calmly considering the evidence and listening to the opinions of other jurors, you cannot honestly agree with the conclusions of other jurors, you must give effect to your own view of the evidence,’ she said.
Over a 13-day trial, the jury heard claims that the teenager, who already knew Sinclair, met de Belin on the dancefloor during Wollongong’s Santa Public Crawl.
The court heard the trio then travelled to an apartment in North Wollongong. There, de Belin allegedly attacked the woman in the bedroom of the unit after using the bathroom, the jury was told.
The woman said she told the men to stop and then ‘just let it happen’, crying as the men ‘took turns’.
The men both testified the sexual encounter was consensual, with the woman acting ‘normal’ and appearing to enjoy it.
The St George Illawarra forward, 30, has been benched while facing the charges in court
At trial, 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.
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.