Trial to start from scratch tomorrow after juror discharged
THE trial of a Gladstone man charged with wilful damage and using a firearm to cause alarm will be restarted tomorrow after a juror was discharged this afternoon.
Kenneth Robert Douglas pleaded not guilty to the two charges after the trial began shortly after 1pm at Gladstone District Court.
The court was told the case concerned an incident at a farm near Diglum, about 70km southwest of Gladstone, on the night of August 12, 2016.
The night ended with the burning down of another family's farmhouse, to which Douglas's son Jesse Douglas has pleaded guilty.
In his opening statement, Crown Prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the jury the case was not an issue of whether of not Kenneth Douglas was present at the property that night.
He said Douglas had already pleaded guilty to stealing a chainsaw and two rifles from the property during the incident, as well as entering the farmhouse with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
Instead, what was at issue in this trial was whether or not Douglas fired two particular gunshots, Mr Le Grand said, before detailing the Crown's allegations against the defendant.
Lunch was then taken after the conclusion of Mr Le Grand's statement.
But before the trial resumed, one of the jurors had raised an issue with Judge Craig Chowdhury, which caused him to believe it was impossible for the juror to continue on the case.
Judge Chowdhury gave defence barrister Scott Moon the option to continue the trial with 11 jurors, however Mr Moon opted instead for a fresh start to the trial given evidence was yet to be heard.
Judge Chowdhury apologised to the remaining jurors before discharging them and asking them to return tomorrow as members of the jury pool, reminding them defendants had the right to be tried before a jury of 12 people.
"These things happen from time to time, but you'll appreciate that this is serious stuff and we do need to get everything right," he said.
The trial is expected to begin again at 10am tomorrow.
Click here to read The Observer's coverage of the following day of the trial.