A JURY has been urged not to convict a man accused in part of a torturous assault, because the victim did not give good enough evidence.
The trial of Jason Edward Richards neared conclusion in the Launceston Supreme Court on Friday.
He is accused of punching and helping to tie up a man, before threatening him with a shotgun, during a night-long assault involving two other men at West Launceston on February 4, 2014.
He has been charged with serious assault matters, including aggravated assault.
In his closing address, Mr Richard’s lawyer Evan Hughes said the jury could not convict, “exclusively” because of the victim’s evidence, which he described as “unreliable” and “inconsistent”.
“There is confusion in his evidence. There are inconsistencies from the his evidence in chief to his cross-examination,” Mr Hughes said.
The jury heard that it was the victim’s second time giving the same evidence, having already taken the stand in April to recall horrific details about another assault committed by one of Mr Richards’s co-accused – Adam Maxwell Cox.
Cox tortured the victim in a sexually violent manner, a week after the incident allegedly involving Mr Richards, but Cox was also present on February 4, with Mr Richards and Mark Paul Phillips.
Phillips refused to give evidence at Mr Richards’s trial on Wednesday.
Mr Richards this week stayed consistent with what he told police in August 2014 – that he witnessed some of the attack by Cox and Phillips, but was not did get involved.
During his police interview, he even asked about the victim’s wellbeing and told detectives he had offered the victim water during the ordeal, but didn’t intervene because he “didn’t want to be tied up next to him”.
Crown prosecutor Peter Sherriff said the victim’s evidence was enough for the jury to convict Mr Richards.
“I said right from the beginning there is a very simple answer in this trial,” Mr Sherriff said.
“You can be very confident in your deliberations.”
Mr Sherriff said it was important for the jury not to feel sorry for Mr Richards, who he said had been portrayed by Mr Hughes as an innocent bystander during the assault.
“This is a court of law, not a court of morales,” Mr Sherriff said.
“Leave your emotions, prejudices and sympathies out – they stay at the door.”
The jury retired.