A district court judge has warned a jury not to take part in a trial if they symptomatic of coronavirus.
A district court judge has warned a jury not to take part in a trial if they symptomatic of coronavirus.

Jury given coronavirus warning in child sex offence case

A DISTRICT court judge has warned a Mackay jury panel not to take part in a trial if they felt symptomatic amid worldwide coronavirus fears as the state ramps up its fight against an outbreak.

Nine women and three men were empanelled for a case against a visually impaired man accused of historic sex offences against a child.

He has pleaded not guilty in Mackay District Court to three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12 under care.

It is alleged the offending occurred between June 1996 and January 1997 in the Mackay region.

Mackay Courthouse.
Mackay Courthouse.

Judge Paul Smith told the jury panel that with coronavirus a topic of conversation, if anyone felt ill or exhibited symptoms they should not sit on the panel.

He asked that any member of the jury raise that with him.

Before the jury was selected Judge Smith told the entire panel the accused, seated in the dock, was wearing dark sunglasses because he had a vision impairment.

The court heard the trial was likely to last three days.

The trial will continue later this afternoon.


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