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Two years later Justice Refshauge says not guilty to sex offences

By johnboy 29 April 2011 24

Spare a thought for Shawn Elrick. The Canberra Times reports that even though his trial over grubby teen sex charges (all involved were teenagers) ended in September 2009 Justice Refshauge has waited until yesterday to find him not guilty.

Justice Refshauge said while Mr Elrick appeared to have lied to police after his arrest, the version of events he gave at the trial was corroborated by other witnesses.

But while the judge did not believe the two girls deliberately lied under oath he was concerned with inconsistencies between their accounts and those of other witnesses.

”The inconsistencies in the evidence of the complainants leave me with a reasonable doubt as to whether the allegations have been made out and I must therefore acquit MrElrick,” he wrote in his judgment.

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24 Responses to
Two years later Justice Refshauge says not guilty to sex offences
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welkin31 3:02 pm 02 May 11

Re my #19 – I am reading “Sins of the Brother” and the similarity struck me – inconsistent witnesses.

Lookout Smithers 11:26 am 02 May 11

Tooks said :

MrGordon said :

Tooks –
You’re correct – he didn”t have to prove the was innocent, and in the ACT it doesn’t even matter if the DPP prove he was guilty – if there is ANY doubt ( and not beyond reasonable doubt) but any doubt then it’s NOT GUILTY

I does seem that way.

Here is what I found strange in the judgement:

“The demeanour of the girls on arrival at Mr Connelly’s house is powerful evidence to support their allegations as is the consistency of their version of the actual alleged incidents themselves. On the other hand, this consistency, worryingly, does not include surrounding events, contemporaneous with the alleged incidents.” [emphasis mine]

So their evidence about the actual alleged crimes were consistent, but because they got other minor details wrong, he finds reasonable doubt? Is it not reasonable to think two young girls will recall the most distressing events of the night with clarity, but have less reliable recall about the other stuff (especially 18mths after the event)?

Tooks that is hearsay and you know it. You can make a frown at court and they take it as being defensive. You need more than that to seal it. I have a funny story but its actually really sad, there were 7 witnesses in court against a teacher. 7!! And he walked. Though by that stage I didn’t even stay for the verdict as I was bored stupid and woke up to things. 7 witnesses and he walked. Still if my witness didn’t die before trial it was a done deal. But he died. Courts heh.

Lookout Smithers 11:08 am 02 May 11

welkin31 said :

In our entire police-criminal-justice-system – many wrongdoers are never apprehended and charged.
Many again are not convicted.
That’s our system that has evolved.
This case reminds me a little of the rape case that Ivan Milat beat in 1974. Stemmed from when he picked up two young women in Liverpool 1971 and they ended up in Goulburn claiming he had threatened their lives – one of them claimed he raped her. Anyway – in 1974 they turned out to be poor witness’s and he walked free. I recall they had some history of psychiatric problems before and after ’71.

Just curiously, how does this case involving minors in Canberra, remind you of Ivan Milat allegedly picking up two women in Liverpool back in the 70s? How do you arrive there? Should we be frightened?

Tooks 10:56 am 02 May 11

MrGordon said :

Tooks –
You’re correct – he didn”t have to prove the was innocent, and in the ACT it doesn’t even matter if the DPP prove he was guilty – if there is ANY doubt ( and not beyond reasonable doubt) but any doubt then it’s NOT GUILTY

I does seem that way.

Here is what I found strange in the judgement:

“The demeanour of the girls on arrival at Mr Connelly’s house is powerful evidence to support their allegations as is the consistency of their version of the actual alleged incidents themselves. On the other hand, this consistency, worryingly, does not include surrounding events, contemporaneous with the alleged incidents.” [emphasis mine]

So their evidence about the actual alleged crimes were consistent, but because they got other minor details wrong, he finds reasonable doubt? Is it not reasonable to think two young girls will recall the most distressing events of the night with clarity, but have less reliable recall about the other stuff (especially 18mths after the event)?

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