THE trial of the former Anglican Dean of Newcastle, Graeme Lawrence, has been delayed again after the prosecution applied to expand the date range that they say the alleged sexual and indecent assaults occurred.
Mr Lawrence, then the second-most senior Anglican in the Newcastle diocese, is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old boy in his house, known as the Deanery, next door to Christ Church Cathedral, in 1991.
The trial, now before a judge alone after potentially prejudicial publicity forced the discharge of the jury in the first trial on Tuesday, had heard that the alleged offences occurred between April 1 and December 31, 1991.
But after hearing evidence from the complainant during a closed court on Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Craig Leggat, SC, applied to amend the indictment against Mr Lawrence, expanding the date range that the offences are alleged to have occurred to between January 30 and December 31, 1991.
Defence barrister Paul Winch opposed the application, telling Judge Tim Gartelmann, SC, the prosecution should have "proofed" their witness and uncovered the issue prior to selecting the date range.
"It raises issues for us that we have not examined," Mr Winch said.
"There could be a potential alibi available in the period prior to April 1, 1991."
The amendment to the indictment was consented to on the condition that the defence be granted two days to explore the newly expanded date range with Mr Lawrence.
Mr Lawrence - who has already been arraigned twice this week and pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and one of indecent assault - was arraigned on the new indictment on Thursday and, again, pleaded not guilty.
The trial will continue on Monday, with the prosecution case expected to wrap up by Tuesday and the defence expecting to call evidence.
The trial was thrown into turmoil on Tuesday after the defence applied for and were granted an application to discharge the jury due to potentially prejudicial publicity in a 1233 ABC Newcastle broadcast.
It raises issues for us that we have not examined. There could be a potential alibi available in the period prior to April 1, 1991.Defence barrister Paul Winch.