Hathras gang rape: Four charged over death of 19-year-old Dalit woman

Four men in India have been charged with the rape and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman earlier this year in a case that

sparked outrage across the country and internationally.

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Self-styled ‘Papa Smurf’ who used van full of dolls to entice kids jailed in UK for 16 years for child rape — RT UK News

A Derbyshire man who drove around in a white van showing off his 11,000-strong Smurf collection to kids has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting a child.

Robin White, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was handed a 16-year sentence and a lifetime sexual harm prevention order on six counts of rape, of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and of indecent assault on a child.

Now an adult, his accuser shared with the court her experience of being assaulted with a sex toy and raped in a garden shed by the van-driving pervert at a young age. Prosecutor Julia King described how the victim had been left with “severe psychological harm” over the “degrading and humiliating” experience.

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She says she is unable to trust anyone fully and that this has had an impact on every aspect of her life,” King said, adding that the victim even stayed away from certain places lest she encounter the predator. The judge agreed, declaring White had “blighted [the victim’s] life in every way.

White, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges, spent several years amassing his massive Smurf collection and claimed it was the largest in existence. He supposedly spent upwards of £2,000 purchasing the blue dolls at rummage sales and flea markets, and kept over 10,000 of them in his van.

The convicted pedophile would drive around to schools and nurseries, showing off his collection to lure unsuspecting kids into his van. 

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NRL 2020: Jarryd Hayne retrial date, sexual assault, rape allegations

Former NRL superstar Jarryd Hayne will face a new trial in Sydney next year after a Newcastle jury could not decide if he sexually assaulted and recklessly injured a woman two years ago.

Mr Hayne did not appear before Newcastle District Court on Wednesday when the new date of March 8, 2021 was set after his first trial ended with a hung jury.

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Crown prosecutor Brian Costello told the court the retrial would proceed but the earliest the Newcastle complex could accommodate the two-week hearing would be “very late” 2021 or early 2022.

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He and Mr Hayne’s lawyer Penny Musgrave agreed moving the retrial in Sydney would avoid a lengthy delay to the football star’s matter.

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NRL 2020: Jack de Belin cancer diagnosis, testicular cancer, rape trial, St. George-Illawarra Dragons

NRL player Jack de Belin underwent surgery following a cancer diagnosis this year.

The Daily Telegraphreports that de Belin found a lump in his testicle earlier this year and recently underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

It is the second-most common form of cancer found among young men aged 18-39.

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The report claims that de Belin underwent surgery in early September after seeking medical advice and that it was a success.

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Jarryd Hayne rape trial, verdict, jury, court case, NRL 2020, sexual assault charge

The jury in Jarryd Hayne’s sexual assault trial has been unable to reach a unanimous verdict on both of the serious charges he is facing, a court has heard.

In one of two notes passed to Judge Peter Whitford SC on Friday afternoon, the jurors said they could not reach a decision but were prepared to return next week to “re-examine” the evidence.

The jury of eight men and four women have been deliberating since Thursday afternoon over whether Mr Hayne is guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Newcastle on NRL grand final night 2018.

Jarryd Hayne will have to wait until at least Monday for a verdict. Picture NCA NewsWire / Peter Lorimer.Source: News Corp Australia
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Mr Whitford urged the jurors to keep deliberating before he released them for the weekend to return to their duties on Monday.

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NRL’s hands tied in rape case and so they should be

First, it’s absolutely crucial to maintain at the forefront of our reasoning the immutable principle, that a person is presumed innocent – and indeed remains so – until the opposite is proved to the criminal law standard. This remains the “golden thread” of our criminal justice system; it’s a rule whose importance is impossible to overstate.

When de Belin (with his co-accused) enters a Sydney courtroom four months from now, to again face serious criminal charges, he steps forth as an innocent man. Jack de Belin doesn’t get out of bed tomorrow; on Christmas Day; or next April, as “sort of” innocent or anything similar. Rather, he does so as AN. INNOCENT. MAN.

Jack de Belin departs the NSW District Court in Wollongong on Monday after a hung trial. Credit:Kate Geraghty

Section 141 of the Evidence Act in NSW roots in statute the principle that a court exercising criminal jurisdiction mustn’t find any prosecution case proved, unless the court is satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Unless the prosecution can discharge this rightly heavy evidentiary burden, a person’s innocence of any criminal wrongdoing is preserved without any denigration.

It’s a hackneyed observation, that not a single thing which has happened up to this point detracts from the basic point that de Belin, and his co-accused, are presumed innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.

A long list of authoritative decisions of the High Court of Australia have persistently, and purposely, refused to wrap any further definitions, guidance notes or commentary around exactly what is meant by the words “beyond reasonable doubt”, other than to say that what’s a reasonable doubt isn’t confined to what’s a rational doubt, or even doubt founded only on a bedrock of reason. The words; they mean what they say.

At Jack de Belin’s retrial he isn’t required to prove, nor even say, anything; importantly, he has and enjoys the unmitigated benefit of doubt. Conversely, it’s the duty and responsibility of the Crown to prove criminal guilt, and in the absence of such proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution must always fail to make out its case. In any such circumstances, an accused person is entitled to an acquittal, with his (or her) innocence preserved, and intact.

‘The rules before the no-fault stand-down provisions were introduced skewed materially in favour of players and their right to play.’

It’s this very principle of innocence in the absence of proven guilt that is – to quote from the seminal UK House of Lords decision delivered by Viscount Sankey in 1935 – the “golden thread” of the criminal law, that’s always seen. That presumption of innocence is a cardinal principle of the system of justice in Australia. The principle is strict and immutable, and correctly so where matters of wrongful deprivation of liberty, and other grave injustices, are the consequence of any system more relaxed.

Therefore, unless and until at some future point it’s actually adjudged in court that the criminal charges levelled against de Belin are proved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt he is, and remains, an innocent man.

But now, let’s return to the issue raised by de Belin’s counsel – a question of the reasonableness of the continued, concrete application of the NRL’s “no fault stand down” rule. Considering de Belin’s presumed innocence and the long path to justice that’s otherwise going to result in de Belin missing his third season opener in a row, should any relaxation of the strictness of the NRL’s rules be applied in the circumstances?

That de Belin was prohibited from playing in early 2019, under the NRL’s strengthened rules, has no effect in eroding his presumed innocence. That he then lost a Federal Court challenge, concerning the actual legality of those same rules, likewise doesn’t displace the fact that he is an innocent man.
It’s also noted that de Belin’s management team has foreshadowed the prospect of sitting down with the NRL, presumably for the purpose of exploring the prospect of whether the NRL’s rules might somehow be relaxed, given the procedural history of the case against the player. One suspects that conversation will be short, for the reasons that follow.

Jack de Belin has not played for the Dragons since 2018.

Jack de Belin has not played for the Dragons since 2018.Credit:NRL Photos

Basically, the NRL’s rule is relevantly written in such a way so that there’s actually no decisions which the NRL can, or is even able to take, about when the rule is activated for serious criminal matters. In cases criminal charges against players, which are as serious as those faced by de Belin, the NRL’s rule that operates to stand down the player triggers as an automatic guillotine. There’s no discretion for anyone to exercise.

The rule also says two important things. First, in cases where that guillotine drops without the NRL enjoying the discretion to activate it, the player has no right of appeal or review. Second, the rule expressly states that the automatically-imposed stand down is to remain in force until such time as the relevant criminal charges are either “determined”, or “withdrawn”.

As matters do stand, neither of those thresholds of finality have been reached; the NRL actually has no discretion in its own rules to relax its rules, nor decide that they won’t apply because of the procedural delays and the requirement for a retrial. Put another way, the NRL is hamstrung; unless it moves to change its own rules, there’s no prospect of that transpiring.

But what of the residual theoretical argument, that the NRL somehow should change its rules? Frankly, the rules in place in 2018 before the no-fault stand-down provisions were introduced, dealt with these sorts of serious matters in a manner skewed materially in favour of players and their continued right to play. That same system operated to the wicked detriment of the sport, the NRL’s good public name, and its various commercial interests.


Notwithstanding the potential for unfairness in the present case – and anyway, the rules aren’t about offering fairness to one affected individual – it must remain the case that the rules operate as currently in force. NRL players – who are charged with serious crimes involving violence, sex and female victims – must be automatically excluded from participation in the sport without judgment, pending the final outcome of the criminal proceedings.

And if you’re against me on that stance, explain to me what should be the outcome, if an NRL player is somehow allowed out on bail after being charged with murder? Should that player be allowed to play, until he faces a jury of his peers? Of course not.

But if those criminal proceedings involving that player meander on for years and then there’s a mistrial, what should the response of the game then be?

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NRL 2021: Jack de Belin, Callan Sinclair, rape trial, new court date, St George Illawarra Dragons

St George Illawarra lock Jack de Belin has a new court date after the jury was unable to reach a verdict in his rape trial.

The NSW Origin forward and Callan Sinclair are accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Wollongong apartment in December 2018. Both deny the charges.

The jury deliberated for a total of 10 hours before informing the judge on Monday that “the divide (among the jury)… has remained consistent and is unlikely to change”.

A date for a retrial has been set for April 12 in Sydney. Initially it appeared as though de Belin would have to wait until August for a retrial to take place in Wollongong.

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NRL news: Jack de Belin, rape verdict, court case, trial, stand-down policy, Dragons team

The NRL will refuse to alter the controversial no-fault stand-down policy despite St George Illawarra player Jack de Belin facing a third year out of the game due to another delay in his rape trial outcome.

De Belin wants to meet with Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’landys before Christmas to discuss his NRL stand-down.

De Belin’s manager Steve Gillis told The Daily Telegraph they want V’landys to review the controversial stand-down policy which has been imposed on the Dragons star since the start of last year.

De Belin became the first NRL player to be stood down under the no-fault stand-down policy when he was charged with rape.

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The stand-down policy was implemented by the former ARLC chairman and V’landys’ predecessor, Peter Beattie.

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Jack de Belin rape trial, verdict, jury discharged, court case, what happens next, NRL news

The jury in the Jack de Belin sexual assault trial has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict.

“Despite careful consideration of all the evidence given, we have been unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” the jury wrote in a note delivered to the court on Monday.

But Judge Haesler ordered the seven men and five women to go back again and review all the evidence.

“Ultimately, whether you return a verdict of guilty or not guilty, it must be a unanimous verdict of you all,” Judge Haesler said.

“I would ask that you retire and consider the evidence and the opinions of others and see whether you can reach a unanimous verdict.”

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Jack de Belin rape trial jury unable to reach verdict

The jury in the rape trial of Jack de Belin and Callan Sinclair has told the court it has been unable to reach a verdict.

The NRL star and his co-accused pleaded not guilty to raping a 19-year-old woman in a Wollongong apartment in 2018.

The jury returned to the court after retiring on Thursday afternoon.

It did not sit on Friday and only reconvened at 9:30am today.

In a note to Judge Andrew Haesler, the jury said despite careful consideration “we have unable to reach a unanimous verdict”.

Judge Haesler has urged the jury to go back over all the case and “give renewed, but calm and rational attention to the evidence.”

More to come.

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