No verdict in alleged daughter rape trial

A JURY has been discharged after it failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a 53-year-old man accused of raping his young daughter.

During the trial in the Bundaberg District Court the five-man, seven-woman jury heard the man allegedly maintained a sexual relationship with the now 14-year-old for more than six years, beginning when the girl was seven years old.

The accused pleaded not guilty to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship and six counts of rape, with the offences alleged to have happened at the family's property near Childers between 2008 and 2014.

The jury was discharged yesterday after they began deliberating on Tuesday.

Their deliberations included a request to re-watch more than three hours of pre-recorded evidence and police interviews with the girl as well as a recorded police interview with the accused.

Despite their second viewing of the tapes and consideration of the evidence, the jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

After first informing Judge Michael Rackemann they could not reach a unanimous verdict yesterday morning they were given a majority verdict direction, which meant a unanimous verdict from 11 jurors would have been accepted.

But when they returned after about 45 minutes they still did not have 11 jurors in agreement.

Judge Rackemann discharged the jury and thanked them for their diligence and endeavours.

In closing arguments both the Crown and defence argued the case would hinge on whether the jury believed the girl or her father.

In discharging the jury Judge Rackemann said the members' inability to reach a unanimous decision was "understandable".

The matter was listed for mention at the next Bundaberg District Court sittings with the accused granted bail on the same conditions he'd previously been granted while awaiting trial.

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