‘Unexpected’ problem in swim coach trial
A juror in the trial of former Mosman swim teacher Kyle Daniels is stuck in the northern beaches COVID-19 lockdown and unable to come to court, delaying deliberations in the lengthy trial.
District Court Judge Kara Shead told the jury on Friday that the overnight outbreak was the reason one person was missing from their ranks.
"I can assure you there's no illness, it's just a location issue, and the advice from government is that people who live in that area are not to leave the area," she said.
"I know of course this is unexpected for all of us."
Another juror has advised Judge Shead they have a flight leaving on Friday evening.
The logistical problems come after the jury sent notes to the judge saying they were deadlocked as the Christmas and New Year break looms.
Mr Daniels, 22, is accused of sexually abusing nine of his young students as he taught them at Mosman Swim Centre between February 2018 and February 2019.
He has pleaded not guilty and emphatically denied ever touching the girls.
The trial has been under way since late October and run for more than seven weeks, exceeding its 5-6 week estimate.
Friday was meant to be day two of jury deliberations after the eight men and four women were sent out to decide on a verdict at about 9.15am on Thursday.
Three-and-a-half hours later they returned a not-guilty verdict on five of the charges faced by Mr Daniels, all in relation to one girl.
But the jury said they were at a stalemate on the remaining 21 charges.
"With all due respect we are at a deadlock and no amount of time would result in a different outcome," they wrote in a note to Judge Shead, who urged them to keep trying.
"You have a duty to participate in those discussions," she said.
"And you must consider the views of your fellow jurors."
More to come
Originally published as 'Unexpected' problem in swim coach trial