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Sexual assault case was correctly left to the jury

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses appeal against conviction for sexual assault, on the grounds that: (a) while it was undoubtedly the case that the defence had some successes in establishing divergences in the course of cross-examination, this was not a case that should have been withdrawn from the jury; and (b) the matters pointed to as islands of fact did not have, either individually or collectively, the significance contended for by the defence and the appellant had not been deprived of a realistic opportunity of an obviously useful line of defence by the delay between the relevant events and the trial.

Appeal against conviction for 20 counts of sexual assault between 1993 and 1995 - complainant was young boy of school-going age at the time - appellant brother of the partner of the complainant’s father and was aged 11-13 at time of offences - some divergences in complainant's evidence established in cross-examination - whether complainant’s evidence was so discredited that trial judge ought to have granted a direction and instructed jury to find appellant not guilty - whether delay that occurred before the matter came on for trial rendered the trial unfair.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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