Court says trial for indecent touching charge was unfair

A JUDGMENT from Queensland's highest court said a trial for a man who was accused of inappropriately touching a boy at Ipswich library was unfair because the jury saw unbalanced evidence.

Following a trial at Ipswich District Court earlier this year Wajid Ali was found guilty of unlawfully and indecently dealing with a 14-year-old boy.

He faces deportation from Australia because of this conviction.

Ali fought the guilty verdict in the Court of Appeal and argued the jury saw unbalanced evidence during the trial.

The Court of Appeal found in his favour earlier this month and ordered a retrial.

The court's reasons were published on Tuesday.

The judgment from Justice Robert Gotterson said the jury retired to briefly deliberate before requesting to re-watch the recorded police interview with the 14-year-old boy, the alleged victim.

But the jury did not want to see the cross-examination.

Mr Gotterson said the judge did not warn the jury to not place undue weight on the evidence they watched again.

He said when the cross-examination was not played, the judge should have, in the interest of fairness, reminded the jury of matters put to the teen during cross examination.

"A critical circumstance in this case was that the cross-examination of the complainant was not replayed to the jury," Justice Gotterson said.

"That circumstance put beyond question that a direction against putting too much weight on the replayed evidence-in-chief ought to have been given." - APN NEWSDESK



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