Jury dismissed in de Belin trial

NRL star Jack de Belin’s long-awaited sexual assault trial has been delayed after a judge was forced to dismiss a jury on Tuesday afternoon.

St George Illawarra Dragons forward de Belin, 30, and friend Callan Sinclair, 24, are accused of raping a young woman following a Christmas pub crawl in Wollongong in late 2018.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault and claim the sex was consensual.

They were arraigned before a jury on Tuesday but proceedings skidded to a halt when one juror sent a note to Judge Nicole Norman during the first half-hour break.

NRL star Jack de Belin has denied the allegations of sexual assault. Picture: NCA News Wire / Adam YipSource:News Corp Australia

Judge Norman subsequently told the court the juror had intimated they could not afford to live on the government allowance given to jurors.

The juror was casually employed and needed to work to pay rent, the court was told.

In the circumstances Judge Norman said there was no other option but to dismiss the whole jury.

Jurors are paid $106.30 for the first 11 days of a trial and $247.40 for every day after that, if they are employed.

Those who are not employed receive the $106.30 allowance for each day of the trial, no matter how long it takes.

They are also paid a travel allowance of 30.7c per km travelled between their postcode and the courthouse.

Callan Sinclair (centre) has also pleaded not guilty. Picture: NCA News Wire / Adam YipSource:News Corp Australia

Attempts to empanel a new jury of 12 people were unsuccessful on Tuesday afternoon, and the matter was adjourned for the day.

The parties will return to the Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday, where a new jury is set to be empanelled, and the trial could start later in the day.

De Belin was stood down under the NRL’s no fault policy after being charged during the 2018 off-season and has not played professional rugby league since.

It came after a stellar year for the then 27-year-old, who was selected in NSW’s victorious State of Origin side. De Belin played all three matches as the Blues took the series 2-1.

Originally published asReason jury dismissed in NRL star’s trial

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