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Toowoomba's Brittany Higgins Wannabee
- Another gold-digger goes after Bruce Lehrmann
The Australian media pack was salivating last week. They’d finally broken through the legal barriers protecting Bruce Lehrmann from being named as the “high profile” man who’d been accused of rape in Toowoomba, in Southern Queensland.
The Brittany Higgins media cheer squad was bitterly disappointed when their hero fell apart, exposed as a lying, scheming bimbo who destroyed a man’s life to save her career and conned her way into $3 million compensation payout, all taxpayer’s money.
So, the media hounds have been running hot ever since they discovered last year that a Toowoomba woman was having a go at Lehrmann, claiming an alleged sexual assault dating back to October 2021, long after the Higgins case hit the news.
The story of what has been happening in Toowoomba is astonishing, with many echoes of the Higgins affair, complete with reluctant police apparently unconvinced by the alleged victim’s story, defence lawyers denied key evidence and key players leant on by the powers that be. Oh yes, here too there was political interference, when the ideologues who run Queensland’s key institutions chose to get involved.
Remember prosecutor Drumgold’s claim in the Higgins case that there’d been political interference from the Coalition government, seeking to bury the case to avoid political damage? Drumgold was forced to retract that false allegation during the Sofronoff inquiry. Then the real political interference was found to be from Labor, when Channel 7’s Spotlight program revealed Labor Ministers plotting to use the case to bring down the government.
Well, here Labor is at it again, working behind the scenes to crush Bruce Lehrmann. Once it was determined that Lehrmann was set to be charged, the notoriously anti-male Queensland Labor government fast tracked a new law to name men accused of sexual assault as soon as police commence proceedings. (Naturally, complainants remain anonymous.)
But even before that law was enacted a mighty legal battle commenced as Lehrmann’s lawyers briefly achieved a temporary suppression order in the Supreme Court to avoid him being named. Every key media company in Australia, except for Channel 7, ganged up to apply for that order to be lifted. Can you imagine what that was like for Lehrmann, knowing the combined legal muscle of the media was out to get him?
(Funnily enough, many of those on the coalface weren’t so keen on Lehrmann being named. The police were initially supportive of a suppression order but just before the case was heard in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court, they changed position to oppose his name being suppressed.)
Note that early this week, a Brisbane Magistrate ruled the new law didn’t apply to a Channel 7 personality charged with multiple child sexual offences, citing the need to protect the woman’s mental health - precisely the reason used to call off the Higgins trial. Very different rules for the girls, obviously.
The most revealing fact about the Toowoomba case is the timing. Here’s a woman who has a sexual encounter with a man she meets at a local nightclub. It is expected evidence will reveal the next morning the couple left home appearing very chummy with each other before grabbing a coffee and Lehrmann driving her home. They exchanged messages on SnapChat for a week or so.
Then, six weeks later, the accuser googled the Higgins case and discovered the man she’d had sex with that night was Bruce Lehrmann. It is understood her statement will reveal that she quickly met with a Brisbane compensation lawyer before reporting the matter to the police. Apparently the phone download of the complainant includes evidence that she is involved in distribution of illicit drugs and has long been unemployed.
Ms Gold-digger’s story, according to media reports, is they had sex once in the evening and twice the next morning. She claims the first time was consensual but awoke the next morning to find Lehrmann having sex with her without using a condom – new laws decree it is sexual assault to have sex without a condom unless you give permission for this to happen.
According to her they had sex not once but twice without her giving permission to not use a condom. Lehrmann will obviously plead not guilty to these charges.
It’s understood he then drove her to the pharmacy to get the morning after pill, waiting in the car before going for coffee with her. She signed the standard pharmacy form which indicated that she had not been sexually assaulted.
Note that this case has been languishing on the police books since late November 2021, with the police showing no initial interest in pursuing the case. Lehrmann had no idea that another rape accusation had been made until well into 2022. Over a year after the allegation was made to police, Toowoomba police rang Lehrmann’s lawyers and informed them they would be commencing criminal proceedings against him - on the same day the Queensland Government released a report critical of police handling of domestic violence.
This year there’s been all sorts of high jinks over the complainant’s phone which police for months refused to hand over to prosecutors. Then prosecutors also withheld the phone records from Lehrmann’s legal team for over two months whilst they undertook their own redactions. Lehrman’s lawyers finally received the heavily redacted phone records at the eleventh hour, the night before his appeal for the suppression order in the Supreme Court.
It was only two months ago that our entire country witnessed Sofronoff tear strips off Higgins trial prosecutor Shane Drumgold for treating criminal litigation as “a poker game in which a prosecutor can hide the cards,” after the prosecutor failed to disclose key evidence to the defence. But it seems Queenslanders are a law unto themselves.
This was on display last week when Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth decided to lift the suppression order, disregarding expert evidence from Lehrmann’s long-time psychologist about possible “serious adverse consequences" to his mental health. The psychologist had pointed to Lehrmann’s extremely depressed state and the extreme suicidal ideation he experienced after the Higgins case was made public in 2021, leading to him being admitted to a mental health facility.
The psychologist wrote: “For over two years he has endured media hounding, public defamation of character, loss of friendships and support, relocating on numerous occasions, and a loss of a sense of safety and security in normal public places.” He mentioned that the Sofronoff inquiry, and ongoing strain of constant legal battles has meant Lehrmann’s mental health has fluctuated considerably this year but warned of the potentially serious psychological effects if he had further public shaming over the Toowoomba case.
Applegarth used Lehrmann’s confident stance in the Spotlight interview to dismiss the psychologist’s assessment regarding the mental health risk. “I hope that Channel 7 paid him or his solicitor a lot of money for the consequences it has had on this application, if nothing else,” the judge quipped, to the delight of the media who naturally were put out that Channel 7 had secured the exclusive interview.
Lehrmann was obviously putting on a brave face at the time of the Channel 7 interview perhaps because the dark clouds had briefly lifted – Higgins’ case had fallen apart leaving him legally an innocent man. For a judge to dismiss the potential impact of another nationwide public shaming over the Toowoomba case is utterly shameful.
As with the Higgins case, once again we are witnessing a disgraceful trial by media, as details of the Toowoomba case are leaked, many of which are apparently contrary to the complainant’s own statement to police. In our believe-the-victim culture it appears that the truth counts for very little.