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Stewart Case updates - no speculation please

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Matabele, Sep 15, 2010.

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  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    This is the official thread providing updates from our man in the court room.  It is not for speculation or comment.  Updates will be posted here for information of silvertails posters. 
     
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    LUNCHTIME: 15 September 2010:

    Jury selected 5 women, one under 25. 7 men, 3 under 25, others older.  All WASPs.

    There was some earlier argument with regard to intoxication.  Crown wanted to infer Brett's decision making might have been impaired.  Defense wants it out.  The inference with alcohol is that people can't control themselves when intoxicated and thus Brett did the things he's accused of.

    The Crown's case is that Brett left the Manly Pacific Hotel in a cab, arrived home and the girl was at the front gate, he brushed past her, she followed, he stopped and grabbed her, kissed her twice with his tongue and then stuck his finger/s in her vagina.  She fled indoors and dad come out, scuffled with Brett, and then got a neighbour to call the cops.  The cops arrived and arrested Brett and took the girl to Royal NSH.  They contend that there is a bruise on her arm and a redness near her vagina, consistent with a finger.

    Brett's QC:
    Opened strongly with a denial of the three events.  There is no issue that Brett left the hotel and arrived in a taxi.  What Brett is asserting is that the girl confronted him at the gate to the units after he told her smoking was stupid.  She went inside and the dad raced outside and there was a scuffle with Brett.  The defence will contend that the girl has psychiatric issues, that the dad has an agenda and that Brett volunteered his DNA from fingers and mouth before he washed at the police station and that no DNA of the girls was found.  
     
  3. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Locking thread to stifle any discussion. We will continue to update though
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    You might want to give DSM5 the ability to post into this thread?
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    yeah true. I will have to work on that.
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Make him a mod for the duration of the case?
     
  7. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Afternoon session.
    Witnesses called - first one, Duty Manager Steyne Hotel.
    He gave a five second assessment of Brett's group at the hotel and got the security guard to ask them to leave.  While they were there, there was no abuse or annoying behaviour to other patrons.  Brett was seated at the pub and had heavy eyelids according to the manager.  When asked to leave they did.  Steyne were obviously paranoid about licence renewal at that time.
    Brett's QC had little difficulty demolishing the idea that Brett was intoxicated.
    Second witness - Security guard, Steyne hotel.
    He was obviously embarrassed about his Police statement made about 6 weeks after the event.  Said he talked to Brett and Brett was 'swaying', maybe spilt a bit of beer.  Brett and his group left after being asked.  
    "I can't really remember reading through my police statement before signing".  Now there's a bright boy.
    Witness three - taxi driver who drove him home from the Manly Pacific.
    Said that Brett was drunk.  head wobbling.  Brett's QC asked if Brett was asleep?  Did he pay? did he give directions home?  Answers, "yes".
    Implication is that Brett was not intoxicated.    The cab driver was confused.
    There was some more confusion as to whether he went from the Pacific home, or went from the Steyne.  No bar staff or others were called by the prosecution from the Pacific strangely.
    There was other stuff about the complainant but it's suppressed for obvious reasons.  
    But the context of the defense is that she came onto Brett.  I wish I could post about it, but I can't.    
    End of day one.  Score, maybe Brett up by two.  

    There are 11 members of this jury.  I think people are confused with that great movie '12 Angry Men' starring Henry Fonda.  I can't comment as to the jury selection process, as we were all asked to vacate the court while that process was on.  needless to say they look like a rugby league crowd, whatever that might mean.  (no Asians?)            
     
  8. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Sorry, the jury number is twelve, 5 women, 7 men. My mistake.
     
  9. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    OK here goes Thursdday's effort:  
    This evidence is OK to publish but not her name of her specific symptom.  She appeared as a small 'mousy' type with glasses.
    She appeared via closed circuit video.  The court was cleared of all except press.  So I stayed.
    The Crown led her through he statement of the night's events.
    Basically she was sitting next to the gate leading into the complex, Brett arrived by cab, she stood up and Brett and her had a conversation about smoking.  Brett said 'yuk" and did a waving hand motion near his nose.  The girl says she started walking back into the complex and Brett called her back and grabbed her and kissed her, twice.  Then he put his hand up her shorts and inserted his finger into her vagina.  She pulled free and ran into the complex.  Her dad came out and there was a scuffle and the cops were called by a neighbour.  She was taken to the RNS hospital and examined.   She was shown a series of photos about the complex and pointed out where the alleged event took place.  That was the extent of her evidence for the prosecution.
    There was a brief interlude wheere a barrister appeared for the press regarding the publication of certain matters.  What was allowed to be published is the fact that the girl has a diagnosis of mental illness.  Any symptoms aren't allowed to be published, although they can be put to the jury.
    Arguement followed on about the COPS reports and the psychiatrists notes.  
    Morning tea break.
    Cross examination by Bellanto for Brett.
    Is she still on medication? yes.  At the time of the incident? yes.  She was shown the photos of the complex again and the fact that the gate doesn't automatically shut.  (remember this was one reason she gave to talking to Brett about leaving the gate open)  Anyway, Although she had a history of sitting at the back of her unit and smoking, this night she was outside the complex sitting on concrete.  She was asked that if Brett indicated a distaste for smoking, why he would then kiss her?  She looked a little stunned but said that he did anyway.  She said that she recognized him from TV.  She was having regular sessions with a psychiatrist at that time.  She also admitted her memory was 'somewhat' unreliable.  "My family help me with my memory", she said.
    Lunch.  Bellanto will continue this afternoon,.  More later.      
     
  10. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Oh yes, one question Bellanto put to the girl was, 'had she been looking through the Stewart's units window in the week prior to the alledged event?'  She didn't answer this, but looked startled.  Could be a start of a 'stalking' suggestion.  We'll see.  The cross is to continue after 2.00pm. 
     
  11. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Taps fingers waiting for DSM5
     
  12. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Afternoon;
    Ballanto continues to cross examine the girl.
    Bellanto pressed the girl on whether Brett had said,"I need/want to go" as he walked past her.  She said "no he didn't say that".  Bellanto referred her to her original statement, where she said Brett had said he wanted to go in.  She replied she couldn't remember.
    Bellanto then concentrated on the tightness or otherwise of the shorts.  He got the admission that the shorts were tight.  
    Bellanto then turned to the the medical condition of the girl.   She couldn't remember what drugs she took as medication.  
    She said that her step-mum and dad helped her remember things.
    Bellanto put it to her that she made the assault up.  She denied that and said why would she.
    Bellanto said that she made it up, got her dad involved, and it spiralled out of control.  He asserted that she came onto Brett and when rejected, ran inside and told the story.  Bellanto put it to her that there was no kissing, no finger, no running away by herself.
    Bellanto asked whether she was taking medication at the time, she said I think I was.
    Bellanto led the girl through her stuff compassionately, so as not to distress her or distress any jury members.  
    What the jury will make of it, who knows.
    The dad then took the stand.  
    His testimony was similar to the committal hearing.  He's changed his name (suppressed) and went on about how his daughter came running into his unit, told the story of this 'guy' touching her, and he went out to avenger her honor.
    A tape was played of his 000 call.  The crown was trying to show the girl's distress at that time.  
    Bellanto went through his list of crimes. The dad got a bit loud and puffed up and his cross examination continues tomorrow.
    My view:  The girl; flaky and not believable, memory losses and contradictions in evidence.  Dad: Transparent and dishonest.        
     
  13. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

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    Is there some sort of official that sits in on juries and advises them as to stick to evidence and not gut feeling? Or am i wrong and gut feeling is good enough?
     
  14. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Yes him or her is usually known as "The Judge"

    What happens in the Jury room is between the jurors and only the Jurors. The Bailiff has contact with them to provide meals and liaise if they need any evidence shown to them again etc.

    However the judge will warn them that they need to make their decision on the evidence.

    How that evidence is interpreted is up to them and that is the point of the Jury that you can use all of the knowledge and life experience you have gained to make a fair decision.

    If you ever get the chance to do Jury duty, my advice is to do it. It is good to see how our judicial system works and you are doing your duty
     
  15. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    The continuation of the father on the stand will be interesting.  I wonder how long he can hold himself together for.
     
  16. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    A long time is my guess.  He's very street smart, going by his criminal convictions and the way he answered questions put to him.  Quite aggressive.  As Bellanto stated, his convictions  are all about dishonesty and deception.  Tomorrow until 1.00pm, then Monday. 
     
  17. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    He might be aggressive but normally that comes with an ego.  I'd be probing his ego to see just how belligerent and boasting he can become.
     
  18. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    O K, here we go.
    Friday.
     
    Bellanto then continued with the dad's cross examination.
    Bellanto discussed the time line over again between alleged event and when the cops were called, and whether the dad had taken over the 'event' and controlled it.  Denied by dad.
    Bellanto then took the dad through the girl's condition.  The dad said that the girl complained all the time.  
    There was a lot about who said what to whom at the start.  The dad said that Brett had denied doing anything before he accused him of touching his daughter. (this is important as the Crown want the jury to see Brett's denial as a sort of precursor to what the dad is saying he did, therefore a partial admission)    
    This was unresolved with the dad sticking to his version.
    The dad had a few outbursts during his cross about his view on what constitutes 'rape'.  He considers a hand on the breast as rape.
    Bellanto stopped his cross of the dad at this point.
    The girl's mum was then called;
    She basically said that she heard running down the side of the unit, came down and saw the dad confronting Brett outside the units.
    She contradicted the dad's version by stating that she heard dad accuse Brett before Brett's denial.
    She claimed to have attempted to calm the situation.  The mum denied having any pre-knowledge of Brett Stewart, but Bellanto showed her that in the week preceding the alleged 'event' she spoke to her step son and told him they shared a unit complex with Brett Stewart.
    The mum admitted her daughter saw things that were'nt there, and said things that weren't true.
    She said that when the event was occurring she heard Brett say 'bro' many times.
    She also stated that she and her husband adjusted the girl's medication.  
    Witness three; the male neighbour.
    At home playing with his dog with his wife and small child.  Called over to the fence by his wife, commotion outside.  Saw the dad flaying at Brett.  Brett backing into fence.  Dad yelling "Did you touch my daughter".  All he heard Brett saying is 'let's talk about this inside'.  Dad asked the neighbour to call the police.  He did, (tape played) and they arrived a short time later.  He watched through the window and saw the dad and Brett arguing.
    Bellanto cross examination
    He showed the neighbour photos of his front garden and they agreed that the neighbour could see the area near the letterboxes outside the complex.  The neighbour agreed that the dad was the aggressor.  
    Next witness, Elizabeth Marratt (I think that's her last name)
    Employee of the Manly Sea Eagles as a sports scientist/conditioner.
    Attended the pre-season launch and accompanied Brett to the Steyne and Manly Pacific hotels.  Bellanto took her through Brett's playing history and accomplishments.  He took her through hsis personal profile and what he does in the community and how he is held in such high respect by everyone associated with the game.  The 'face of rugby league' etc.
    She stated that Brett would never disrespect a woman and had never heard or seen any such action.  She became emotional and had a little weep.  Afterthe launch she walked with Brett to the hotels and met many fans along the way.  Brett was not intoxicated and treated each fan with respect.  She stated she had never heard him say bro, only the NZ players called others by that name.  She was terrific.
    Cross examination by the Crown.
    The Crown attempted to infer she had been intimate with Brett having had her arm around him at the pub, as shown on some CCCTV footage.  She replied that was friendly and Brett was supporting her.  
    A very good point to end the day.      
     
  19. DSM5

    DSM5 Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Just a thing,
    I don't know why the Crown called Elizabeth.  It would appear to me that she was really good for Brett as the jury would go away for the weekend with her ringing endorsement of Brett in their ears.  The contradiction of who said what and when is really important.  Remember, Brett's defense is that it never happened, and any admission on his part before the question is put, sounds like an admission).  I can see lots of character witnesses, all good for Brett.
    I think this case will run for another two weeks.

    Preliminary questions or points made in the absence of the jury is referred to as 'voire dire'  for those that care. 
     
  20. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    My goodness - is the Crown working for the defence?

    At the moment the only thing they have to hang a charge on is:

    1.  The girl's testimony.  And we have her own parents suggesting she makes things up, complains and is unstable.
    2.  A timeline suggesting Brett denied doing anything wrong to the father before the father accused him of anything.  That is circumstantial, but importantly it is contradicted by the mother and the neighbour.  And the neighbours defence that the father had Brett bailed up would also explain why Brett might say he'd done nothing wrong.  Most people would in the face of naked aggression. 
     
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