40-year-old rape case aborted
THE trial of a Lismore grandfather charged with a series of child sexual offences against his sister-in-law has been aborted by Judge James Black.
It follows an issue in the legal proceedings being heard before a jury in the Lismore District Court.
Judge Black gave his decision yesterday afternoon following submissions by the Crown and defence counsel Megan Cusack over the issue, in what was the first trial for 2010.
Judge Black apologised to jury members for the inconvenience before discharging them. A new trial date was set for April.
The man, now 66, is accused of raping his wife’s younger sister 40 years ago in the 1960s when she was aged between 13 and 15 and the then newly married man was in his 20s.
The woman complained to Lismore detectives in late 2003 and early 2004, with the matters taking some years to investigate. She had just completed her evidence given over two days when the legal hiccup was realised.
The jury was not informed of the reason.
The man maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to the series of sexual offences.