Brittany Higgins: Jury still out in Bruce Lehrmann rape trial

A jury will continue their deliberations in Bruce Lehrmann’s rape trial on Friday.

On late Wednesday afternoon, the 12 jurors retired to consider the verdict after hearing evidence from 29 witnesses in the politically and emotionally charged trial.

Mr Lehrmann is accused of raping former colleague Brittany Higgins in Linda Reynolds’ ministerial office at Parliament House after a night out drinking with work colleagues in March 2019.

He has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without her consent and being reckless to her consent.

In her final directions, Chief Justice Lucy McCallum told jurors to clinically assess the evidence.

She told them they were “not answerable in this trial to popular opinion”.

It came after four of the 16 jurors were “voted off the island” by a random ballot, leaving eight women and four men to decide Mr Lehrmann’s fate.

It’s unknown how long the jury will deliberate before returning a verdict.

The trial, which was originally set down for six weeks, drew to a close after less than 12 days in court.

In his closing address, Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold said the trial was not about “political movements” or workplace culture.

“This case is about what happened on a couch in a room on Saturday the 23 of March 2019.”

But defence barrister Steve Whybrow told the court that his “kindest way” of summing up the case was “Ms Higgins doesn’t know what happened”.

“We can’t be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that she knows what happened,” he told the jury.

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