Trial restart ordered on indecent treatment charges
A DISTRICT Court judge has discharged a Gympie jury after one juror realised he recalled knowing the defendant in a matter involving three counts of alleged indecent treatment of a child.
"You did the right thing," Judge Long told the juror, who had told the court his long dormant memory was triggered by the man's name.
Judge Long said the issue was not only the question of actual bias "favourable or unfavourable," but also what "a fair-minded member of the community might apprehend."
He accepted a defence submission that the trial should be aborted.
And although there was some discussion in the court on whether the trial might continue with the remaining 11 jurors, Judge Long ruled that the jury should be discharged and a new one selected today.
The judge said he drew the inference that a juror would have some impression of the defendant, whether favourable or unfavourable.
He dismissed the juror from further participation in the court's current Gympie sittings, but said other jurors may be required to be available for today's selection of a new jury.
He noted that the trial had not started and the jurors were still eligible for selection if required.
"You've done the right thing in raising this issue," Judge Long told the juror.
"It's understandable how recollections can be prompted. It's not just a matter of whether you can or can't be impartial but how it can be seen."
He then discharged the other 11 jurors.