• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

The St George Illawarra player has pleaded not guilty to the aggravated rape of a 19-year-old woman in a NSW apartment in 2018

Nov 17, 2020

The lead detective investigating an alleged rape by NRL star Jack de Belin and his friend did not pursue a discrepancy in police statements of central importance to the case, a jury has heard.
The police officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cross-examined by de Belins barrister, David Campbell SC, on Tuesday in Wollongong district court about witness statements that differed from the then-19-year-old complainants version.
When the teenager initially accused the key St George Illawarra player and his friend, Callan Sinclair, of raping her in a Wollongong unit in December 2018 she didnt mention to police that another man was present in the apartment, the court heard.
De Belin, 29, and Sinclair, 23, have pleaded not guilty to the aggravated sexual assault of the 19-year-old woman after meeting her in a bar nearby.
Two witnesses who made police statements around the time of the alleged assault said the woman had mentioned to them seeing another male in the apartment. But the lead investigator who took the alleged victims statement never questioned her about this discrepancy.
You couldnt get something more central … at the very place she says she is sexually assaulted, another person turns up … didnt you consider this of central import? Campbell asked the police officer on Tuesday.
But the detective said he believed the issue was covered adequately in a police statement by the third man who was seen in the apartment. Troy Martin had earlier told the court he saw the accused duo standing while a naked woman was on the bed in the bedroom.
Martin initially lied when he told police that sometime during the night he heard sounds which seemed to come from outside before he went back to sleep, the court has heard previously.
Campbell said it was unthinkable for an officer in charge of the investigation to not speak with the complainant following this revelation nor seek further clarification from Martin.
Constable Benjamin Sutton, assisting the officer in charge, was also grilled about the lack of detailed notes taken throughout the investigation, as well as immediately following the initial complaint.
Our priority was to get her to a hospital … the retention of that physical evidence was a priority at that time, Sutton said. The officer could not recall making notes regarding many of his interactions with the young woman.
He also admitted serving a brief of plainly privileged material to the director of prosecutions. That should not have happened? Campbell asked, to which he responded: In hindsight, no.
The detectives had intercepted and monitored both accused mens phones for about two months following the allegations. This resulted in more than 400 calls and 2000 messages from de Belin being monitored and reviewed while Sinclair too had a vast amount of mobile data retained.
It included a text message from de Belin about Martin being home at the time the sexual activity took place.
Broke into your house … Troy was there … haha whoops, the message read.
Despite three sources of information detailing another man being home during the incident the general of the troops didnt question the woman about it, Campbell said on Tuesday. The trial continues.