Higgins case dropped as cops reveal doubts

by NINA NGUYEN – PROSECUTORS have abandoned charges against the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins following concerns that the ongoing trial has taken a toll on the former Liberal staffer’s mental health. 

Higgins, who alleged ex-colleague Bruce Lehrmann raped her inside Parliament House in March 2019, was confirmed to have been admitted to hospital. 

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.
Shane Drumgold
ACT Director of Public Prosecutions

ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold on Friday announced he would no longer pursue the case after receiving “compelling evidence from two independent medical experts that the ongoing trauma associated with this prosecution presents a significant and unacceptable risk to the life of the complainant”.

“Whilst the pursuit of justice is essential for both my office and for the community in general, the safety of a complainant in a sexual assault matter must be paramount,” Drumgold said.


“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.”

Higgins’ close friend Emma Webster said in a statement the past two years have been “difficult and unrelenting” for Higgins.

“While it’s disappointing the trial has ended this way, Brittany’s health and safety must always come first,” she said.

“Brittany is extremely grateful for all the support she has received, particularly from our mental health care workers.”

Bruce Lehrmann was charged with sexual intercourse without consent and was on bail awaiting a new trial in the ACT Supreme Court after juror misconduct derailed the first.

He has denied the allegation and maintained the pair never had any sexual interaction.

The latest move comes after the trial was postponed to February due to a juror’s misconduct in the October trial.

Chief Justice Lucy McCallum wrote in her decision that at least one juror had accessed research material outside of what was provided to the jury during the trial.

During a routine tidying of the jury room, one of the officers accidentally bumped one juror’s folder onto the floor.

When the officer picked it up to place it back, he noticed the title of the academic paper suggested the topic might be sexual assault, which was later confirmed.


“It is neither possible nor helpful to speculate as to the use to which this information might have been put in the jury room, if any,” McCallum said.

“[However], at the very least, the fact that the paper was located and taken into the jury room by the juror indicates that it may have influenced that juror’s contribution to the jury’s deliberations.

“The unfairness to both parties is manifest.”

Prior to the October delay, the trial was also postponed to June 27 after television host Lisa Wilkinson praised Higgins in her acceptance speech at an Australian TV award.

ACT Supreme Court Chief Justice Lucy McCallum told the ACT Supreme Court that despite having received a “clear and appropriate warning” prior to the TV awards ceremony, Wilkinson proceeded to deliver an acceptance speech that “openly referred to and praised the complainant in the present trial”.

“The recent publicity does, in my view, change the landscape because of its immediacy, its intensity and its capacity to obliterate the important distinctions between an allegation that remains untested at law and one that has been accepted by a jury giving a true verdict according to the evidence,” she said.

Although Higgens hasn’t achieved legal status as a victim of the alleged sexual assault crime, her case has attracted national attention following extreme media coverage of her public comments, which led the lawyers of Lehrmann to raise concerns that it may amount to contempt of the court.

“I urge all media to show restraint in reporting this matter and in particular in republishing the statements made by the complainant,” Lehrmann’s defence barrister Steve Whybrow wrote in a statement in February 2023 after Higgins spoke to the media outside the ACT Supreme Court.


“I understand the complainant and other members of her support team were all seated in Court this morning when the Chief Justice discharged the jury and made strong comments about people making statements or comments that could prejudice a fair trial,” Whybrow said in a statement on behalf of Mr Lehrmann.

“Notwithstanding Her Honour’s admonition, the complainant proceeded to give what appears to have been a pre-prepared speech to the media outside the Court.

After the trial was officially abandoned, The Greens Party called for the implementation of the Work Plan to Strengthen Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault to make victim-survivors recorded testimony admissible.

“To end Australia’s culture of sexual violence, harassment and abuse, we must start by supporting victims to come forward and dismantling power imbalances and gender stereotypes that deter them from doing so,” said Greens Larissa Waters and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in a media statement.

Meanwhile, men’s advocate Bettina Arndt wrote in a commentary on The Epoch Times on February 14 that “the case’s outcomes are all equally dismal”.

“If the defendant is found guilty in a trial whose fairness is open to question, it will send a shudder through the multitude of normal families already nervous about protecting their sons,” Ms Arndt wrote.

“But if he is acquitted, the cries for further changes to our legal system would be deafening.”

Nina Nguyen

Cop’s serious concerns about Brittany evidence

IN RELATED NEWS: The Australian newspaper reports that the most senior police officer on the Brittany Higgins case believed there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Bruce Lehrmann but could not stop the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions from proceeding because “there is too much political interference”.

In an executive briefing last year, Superintendent Scott Moller advised that investigators “have serious concerns in relation to the strength and reliability of [MsHiggins’] evidence but also more importantly her mental health and how any future prosecution may affect her wellbeing”.

The executive briefing lists a series of concerns by senior police, including that Ms Higgins had repeatedly refused to provide her original mobile phone; had deliberately deleted messages from a second phone; had lied about seeking medical attention after the incident; and had joked about wanting “a sex scandal” a month before the incident.PC

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Brittany Higgins. (courtesy The Epoch Times)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Epoch Times on December 3, 2022. Re-used with permission.

8 thoughts on “Higgins case dropped as cops reveal doubts

  1. Look, I realise that this is old news that has lately re-vegetated into the truth, as many of us assumed that it would. However, the point is that during this and previous political processes that were used entirely to damn “Scott Morrison” and his Liberal party by definition, the ploys were successful. Why? Because too many of you swallowed the “anti-Scott Morrison” strategy hook, line and sinker, allowing this cynical, blatantly dishonest, unethical and completely contrived drama – and others – from the Labor party to succeed. You did this with a “concerning”, disingenuous – even hysterical in some cases – enthusiasm that basically disembowelled your own party. I begged you repeatedly to stop this self-immolation of our party and stick behind the leader, otherwise we would be lambasted at both elections. And so we were. And we are basically still at it. So all – PLEASE learn a lesson and from now on and save your vitriol for the most cynical, dishonest, and falsely-premised Federal – and now State -government that have ever been put onto Terra Australis. Why not have a competition amongst us to spot The leaders’ biggest, cracking lies – and false promises – AND publish ALL the entries. I will personally guarantee a prize worth having – a free programme of health recovery at the Lane Cove Wellness Centre.

  2. The documents obtained by The Weekend Australian also ¬reveal that Higgins joked in text messages about crying on The Project to deflect criticism in the media, and, six weeks before the alleged rape, wanting a political sex scandal:
    ‘A sex scandal the party can be proud of. (copied)

  3. We learnt from the Pell trial and Christian Porter’s downfall that the left are less interested in pursuing justice and more interested in re-arranging the narrative of the day to skewer the conservatives. Never let the facts of the matter get in the way of a good story. Who knows what happened to M/s Higgins, and whether or not she was the victim of a sexual attack, but somehow it will all be the fault of the right side of politics. Either she was assaulted, or she made it all up, or somewhere in between. If she was assaulted then that’s terrible, but if she wasn’t then that’s terrible as well.

  4. One day we’re being told by ACT prosecutor Drumgold that Higgins health and safety come first and accordingly a second court case cannot proceed. Almost the next day, Higgins launches a $3 million legal attack on two former Liberal ministers. Confused? You betcha.

  5. Yes, her story kept changing. Why did she voluntarily go to a minister’s office out of hours? First she said she was so blotto that she WOKE UP ALONE and SUSPECTED that she’d been raped. That changed to saying that she woke up to see the defendant on top of her. If she was completely out of it, how were her clothes removed? Why did she voluntarily go to a minister’s office out of hours? As I recall, she has already been paid $600K, and now she wants much more from her employer. On what basis – her employer should have provided a safe work place? I doubt that her job description included attending staff parties anywhere. Similarly I doubt that her job description required her to get blotto. Hence an unsafe workplace can not be a basis for legal action. And what about Mr.Lehrmann? What compensation is he entitled to? Why was he sacked, but not Ms.Higgins? The answer is politics. He was the scape goat.

    1. Relentless negativity!

      Opposition Leader later Prime Minister Tony Abbott was also a victim of leftist Labor and Green dirty politics. And the LINO mob with their Union related GetUp helpers.

  6. Prime Minister Albanese when he was Opposition Leader led a smearing campaign for at least three years and even accusing the Coalition PM of being on leave during firstly bushfires in 2019 and later similar not on the job accusations when floods were the next natural disaster taking place, State government areas of responsibility and services, for example, there is no Federal “State Emergency Service or NSW Rural Fire Service”.

    The list is long of politically motivated spin used to smear the Liberals and Nationals by Union Labor.

    And what about the publicity stories, the so often repeated raised in public housing by a single mother of a disability pension, but no acknowledgement that his grandparents were age pensioners and rented the dwelling that they shared with their daughter and grandson. No mention in the hard luck story that he attended prestigious Catholic College St.Mary’s in the Sydney CBD and later attended the University of Sydney. And his claim to have been economics adviser to Labor PM Hawke, but he was not, as Sky News journalist Andrew Clennell later reported he worked as a staffer for Cabinet Minister Uren at that time.

    Elections are won by hard work beginning as soon after the last election as possible, and not allowing the other side to get away with anything, but being truthful.

  7. What about the accused and his state of mind, and his future with a questions left unanswered?

    And the other political pile on victims of recent times accused of doing things never proven?

    Yesterday the Prime Minister expressed his regrets to Ms Higgins, but no comment for Mr Lehrmann?

    Why hasn’t the Coalition objected loudly to the so obvious politically based opportunistic attacks from Labor, Greens and other political opponents helped by partisan left leaning media?

    It is frustrating and very annoying.


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