Rape trial dropped over ‘unacceptable’ threat to Higgins

Brittany Higgins (left) and Bruce Lehrmann

THE sexual assault case in opposition to Bruce Lehrmann, the person accused of raping Brittany Higgins, has been dropped.

ACT director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold introduced he had made “the troublesome resolution” immediately (December 2) to not proceed with a retrial on the idea of it being a serious psychological well being threat to Higgins.

I’ve lately obtained compelling proof from two unbiased medical consultants that the continuing trauma related to this prosecution presents a major and unacceptable threat to the lifetime of the complainant,” mentioned Drumgold.

“This has left me no possibility however to file a discover declining to proceed with the retrial of this matter which I’ve accomplished this morning, this brings the prosecution to an finish.” The new trial date had been set for February 20.

Drumgold mentioned he had initially fashioned a transparent view that there was an affordable prospect of conviction, “and it is a view that I nonetheless maintain immediately”.

Lehrmann was accused of raping Higgins in an workplace in Parliament Home in March 2019. He has denied the allegations.

He confronted trial over the alleged offence earlier this yr, however the jury was discharged following juror misconduct.

“During the investigation and trial, as a sexual assault complainant, Ms Higgins has confronted a stage of non-public assault that I’ve not seen in over 20 years of doing this work. She’s accomplished so with bravery, grace and dignity, and it’s my hope that this can now cease, and Ms Higgins might be allowed to heal,” mentioned Drumgold.

Higgins’ buddy, Emma Webster, revealed shortly after the announcement that Higgins was in a Queensland hospital “getting the therapy and help she wants”.

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“Whereas it’s disappointing the trial has ended this manner, Brittany’s well being and security should at all times come first,” mentioned Webster.

“Brittany is extraordinarily grateful for all of the help she has obtained, significantly from our psychological health-care staff.”

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Ian Meikle, editor