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HomeAustralian NewsPeter Dutton knew about alleged rape earlier than police, court docket hears

Peter Dutton knew about alleged rape earlier than police, court docket hears

Higgins “overtly admitted” to deleting knowledge as she wished to “scrub” them from her life, together with textual content messages and pictures of former Coalition minister Linda Reynolds, who she labored for when Lehrmann allegedly raped her in a parliamentary workplace within the early hours of March 23, 2019.

“It wasn’t completed with the intent of maintaining issues from the police, however purging issues from my life as soon as it went public,” she mentioned.

Bruce Lehrmann (centre) denies raping Higgins in Parliament House in March 2019, and says the pair never had sex.

Bruce Lehrmann (centre) denies raping Higgins in Parliament Home in March 2019, and says the pair by no means had intercourse.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

“Any picture after I was 16 and had alcohol in my hand I simply cleared off my cellphone, I by no means wished to see Linda Reynolds’ face once more, so I cleared her … I wished to clean all of the horrible elements of my life out.”

On Thursday, the court docket heard Higgins made secret recordings of conversations with former Coalition minister Michaelia Money, who she labored for after Reynolds, and her chief-of-staff Daniel Strive, about her sexual assault allegations and distributed them “to as many individuals as doable” for safe-keeping, together with a journalist.

On Friday, Whybrow additionally requested Higgins a few message to her ex-boyfriend Ben Dillaway, with whom she was rekindling a relationship, in April 2019, through which she mentioned she was “not enthusiastic about pursuing it [the allegation] … it’s all past unusual”.

Higgins replied that, “as a lot as I trusted and actually adored Ben, he was nonetheless a senior media adviser to a Liberal cupboard minister, so I didn’t fully belief him that it wouldn’t get again to one in every of his greatest associates [in the prime minister’s office] … so I didn’t belief that every one my ideas and emotions weren’t going straight again to Liberal CHQ [campaign headquarters].”

Higgins mentioned underneath cross-examination that she had informed Dillaway that she would see a physician within the days after the alleged assault, however didn’t find yourself going as she was “placating him”.

Whybrow additionally put to her that she had requested Reynolds’ then-chief of employees, Fiona Brown, for the Friday off after the alleged incident to see a physician. She agreed that she hadn’t seen a physician on the Friday both, having met up with Dillaway the night time earlier than and once more for breakfast, as he was consoling her.

She mentioned she was in any other case bed-bound and unable to observe by means of with the medical appointments as a result of stress of vocalising her expertise. “I used to be raped in my office, what would you like from me?” Higgins mentioned to Whybrow throughout a heated alternate earlier than the jury.

The defence lawyer put to her, “the rationale you didn’t go to a physician is since you didn’t have intercourse with anyone on the Friday night time, consensual or in any other case”, including she informed Brown and Dillaway she was going to the physician to bolster her “false suggestion” that she had been assaulted.


Higgins replied, “nothing you might be saying proper now’s true, and it’s deeply insulting,” including she utterly disagreed with all the things he was saying.

Whybrow repeated his proposition, to which Higgins replied, “You might be so incorrect, I don’t know when you’ve got ever gone by means of a trauma earlier than however confronting it with professionals is a really onerous factor to do.”

Reduce by means of the noise of federal politics with information, views and knowledgeable evaluation from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can signal as much as our weekly Inside Politics publication right here.



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