And her poor mental health was why the retrial was abandoned. Ironical that she was ever taken seriously. It seems that she was delusional from the start. The claim was a he said / she said affair with no corroborating evidence. Except for feminist politics the case would never have gone to trial A serious miscarriage of justice based on an accusation from a mentally unwell woman was narrowly avoided
Brittany Higgins was hospitalised on mental health grounds during the first trial after she went missing and police were called to locate her in Canberra.
News.com.au can reveal for the first time the reason for her disappearance after the ACT Supreme Court lifted an October 10 suppression order.
The serious incident involved multiple police cars being called to search for her and an ambulance being dispatched to her hotel.
She was located by police walking in the rain and taken to the Canberra hospital before she spent five days at a Canberra mental health clinic.
At the conclusion of her treatment, she returned to court to complete her cross examination.
New evidence that the “ongoing trauma” associated with the prosecution of Bruce Lehrmann poses an unacceptable risk to the life of the complainant Brittany Higgins has prompted prosecutors to drop the rape charge and not proceed with a second trial.
Mr Lehrmann has consistently denied the allegations.
ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold confirmed today he had reviewed new medical evidence regarding Ms Higgins.
“I have recently received compelling evidence from two independent medical experts, that the ongoing trauma associated with this prosecution presents an unacceptable and significant risk to the life of the complainant,’’ he said.
“The evidence makes it clear this is not limited to the harm of giving evidence in the witness box, rather applies whether or not the complainant is required to re-enter the witness box in the retrial.
“Whilst the pursuit of justice is essential for my office and the community, the safety of a complainant in a sexual assault matter, must be paramount.
“In light of the compelling independent medical opinions, and balancing all factors, I have made the difficult decision that it is no longer in the public interest to pursue a prosecution at the risk of the complainant’s life.”
Ms Higgins was readmitted to hospital on Thursday.
The former Liberal staffer granted permission for her friend and supporter Emma Webster to release the following statement.
“Brittany is in hospital getting the treatment and support she needs,’’ Ms Webster said.
“The last couple of years have been difficult and unrelenting.”
“While it’s disappointing the trial has ended this way, Brittany’s health and safety must always come first.”
“Brittany is extremely grateful for all the support she has received, particularly from our mental health care workers.”
But until now any reporting of her October 10 hospitalisation was prohibited by the Supreme Court.
The trial was briefly delayed during the second week as a result, with Ms Higgins unavailable to appear in court.
Former Liberal staffer Bruce Lehrmann, who was charged with one count of sex without consent in ministerial office of Linda Reynolds in the early hours of March 23, 2019, pleaded not guilty.
He was never convicted and the jury was discharged without reaching a verdict after an allegation of juror misconduct.
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