Man gets new trial after claim his barrister was a mole

A ROCKHAMPTON man who claimed his defence barrister was a mole for the prosecution has been granted a new trial after the Queensland Court of Appeal set a rape conviction aside.

Aaron Boyd Lee is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl in September, 2010, with the central issue at trial, consent.

On the second day of the trial, he claimed he had stopped taking his medication for bipolar two months prior because "he wanted to be more clear minded for this trial".

He told a psychiatrist he was experiencing auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions.

Mr Lee also told the practitioner it was stressful being confined to the prisoner's dock, which he referred to as a "glass cage" or "fish tank", in the courtroom, was hearing voices and believed his barrister was a "plant".

The trial judge found Mr Lee was fabricating the hallucinations and delusions he reported to his lawyers and the psychiatrist.

Mr Lee appealed the conviction, arguing he was not fit to be tried and the jury should have been tasked with deciding his capacity to go to trial.

The psychiatrist testified Mr Lee was not fit for trial and the incapacity was likely due to the medication.

He said if Mr Lee were to resume taking medication, the symptoms would likely go away within a week.

Justice Debra Mullins said instead of sending the question of incapacity to the jury, the trial judge made a factual finding about Mr Lee's credit.

"They were questions for the jury to decide on the evidence that would have been adduced before the jury on the issue of whether (Lee) was fit for trial," she said.

The appeal court set the guilty verdict aside and ordered a retrial.

Topics:  court crime sexual assault

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