High Court of Australia

Chiro v The Queen [2017] HCA 37

13 Sep 2017

Case Number: A9/2017

Before

Kiefel CJ, Bell, Keane, Nettle, Edelman JJ

Catchwords

Criminal law – Offence of "[p]ersistent sexual exploitation of a child" – Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA), s 50 – Where offence comprised of two or more acts of sexual exploitation separated by not less than three days - Where jury required to be unanimous (or agreed by statutory majority) as to same two or more acts of sexual exploitation - Where alleged acts of sexual exploitation ranged from kissing in circumstances of indecency to inserting penis into complainant's mouth - Where jury returned general verdict of guilty by statutory majority - Where not known which alleged acts of sexual exploitation jury agreed had been proved by prosecution - Whether conviction uncertain - Whether judge should have requested special verdict - Whether, after general verdict returned, judge should have asked questions of jury to identify acts of sexual exploitation found to be proved - Whether appellant should have been sentenced on view of facts most favourable to appellant in circumstances where factual basis of jury's verdict unknown.

Words and phrases – "acts of sexual exploitation", "actus reus", "course of conduct offence", "extended unanimity", "general verdict", "jury directions", "persistent sexual exploitation of a child", "special questions", "special verdicts".

Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) – s 50.
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