Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers to argue he has no case to answer over alleged Toowoomba rape

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024
Key Points
  • Bruce Lehrmann has appeared at the Queensland court where he is being charged with an alleged rape in October 2021.
  • Lehrmann’s lawyers will argue the former Liberal staffer has no case to answer.
  • A magistrate has allowed Lehrmann to both remain outside custody on bail and attend the next hearing remotely.
A rape charge hearing against former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann has been adjourned, with his defence set to argue he has no case to answer. 
Lehrmann, 29, on Monday attended a Queensland magistrates court for the first time since being charged with rape more than a year ago.
The committal hearing at Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, is part of a long-running process to determine if the matter will go to trial.
Testimony from the alleged victim was heard in a closed court before Magistrate Mark Howden ordered the committal be adjourned until 4 July.
Defence Barrister Andrew Hoare handed up a 12-page written submission from Lehrmann, saying he would present oral arguments for a no-case submission next month.

“As foreshadowed, they are submissions in respect to the sufficiency of the evidence to place my client on trial,” Hoare said.

Lehrmann permitted to attend next hearing via video link

Howden continued Lehrmann’s bail and allowed him to appear via video link next month.
Lehrmann had travelled from interstate to attend the hearing and crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald did not oppose him not having to appear in person next month.
Friedewald said the prosecution’s case was complete after submitting a new statement from the alleged victim.
Howden had earlier denied an application for journalists to remain in the courtroom while the alleged victim gave evidence, saying it would be prejudicial against Lehrmann.
“I acknowledge the public interest, however … the matter ought to proceed in the ordinary way,” he said.
Lehrmann was first charged in January 2023 but had not attended court for the matter until Monday. He was mobbed by members of the media when he arrived.

“Where is Peter Costello when you need him?” he said, apparently in reference to the former Nine Entertainment chairman allegedly pushing over a journalist.

A man in a dark suit with neat dark hair walks outside a court building.

Bruce Lehrmann faces two counts of raping a woman at Toowoomba in October 2021, which his lawyers have said he denies. Source: AAP / Jono Searle

Lehrmann faces two counts of raping a woman at Toowoomba in October 2021, which his lawyers have said he denies.

Friedewald handed up a list of exhibits and witnesses including a police detective and multiple officers.
Barrister for News Corp, ABC and Nine Network, Jess Goldie, applied for journalists to remain in the courtroom while the alleged victim testified remotely.
Goldie said the high public interest in the case justified media remaining to ensure fair and accurate reporting.
It was opposed by Hoare, the crown prosecutor, and the alleged victim.
Howden denied the application and ordered the packed courtroom’s public gallery be cleared.
Defence lawyers had mounted a weeks-long legal effort to maintain Lehrmann’s anonymity after Queensland changed its laws in October 2023 to no longer ban the publication of the names of people charged with certain sex offences prior to facing trial.

Lehrmann was able to be identified after being denied an ongoing non-publication of his name by the Queensland Supreme Court.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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