A jury in Sydney was spectacularly dismissed and a murder trial of five people was dropped after a High Court ruling the judge described as an “unsurmountable hurdle”.
Fifteen jurors entered the NSW High Court in Darlinghurst on Friday, in the second week of the trial, awaiting further evidence in connection with the death of 29-year-old Luke Lembryk, who was stabbed in the heart in a failed robbery at his unit in Condell Park in December 2019.
Lisa Anne Price, Joseph Nehme, Bilal Rahim and Viliami Taufahema had all pleaded not guilty to Lembryk’s murder and were alleged to have been involved in a deal to rob him for cash and possibly drugs. Sherene Rizk pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to murder before the crime.
The Crown claimed Price and Lembryk met on Tinder in August 2019 and were using cocaine when he showed her “wads of cash.” Price is said to have given his address to Nehme, who then is said to have recruited Rahim and Taufahema. Rizk was accused of strapping a knife to Nehme.
The study had an estimate of up to seven weeks. On Friday, however, Judge Richard Button told the jury “the most unusual and unexpected circumstances” had occurred.
“I regret to have to dismiss you with my sincere thanks and I bid you farewell,” the judge said.
Button said a High Court ruling in Canberra on Wednesday “substantially clarified” the law on murder and “the very kind of murder that is alleged here”, involving the alleged commission of a serious crime – robbery – and Foresight is about what could possibly happen.
Central to the murder defense cases was whether the defendant had foreseen that someone would be hurt or killed.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/tinder-murder-trial-aborted-after-unexpected-high-court-ruling-20230310-p5cqzr.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Luke Lembryk murder case dropped following High Court ruling