Jurors in county court trial warned against comparing their role to a real crime podcast | Bendigo Advertiser

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A 21st BIRTHDAY party in 2016 in rural Balmoral, Victoria, is the focus of a trial heard by a jury in Bendigo County Court this week. Shaun Phillip Bloomfield, 27, and Luke John Merryfull, also 27, have been charged with rape, following allegations they assaulted a woman who was also at the party. The prosecutor, attorney David Cordy, said the woman was due to stay in a trailer on the property on April 3, 2016, and had sex with her. Mr. Bloomfield and Mr. Merryfull both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Mr Bloomfield has been charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. Mr. Merryfull has been charged with one count of rape. Each of the defendants was represented by counsel in court on Monday. Mr Bloomfield’s defense lawyer, Rishi Nathwani, said he did not dispute that his client attended the party, or that there was alcohol at the celebrations. He said Mr Bloomfield admitted to having sex with the woman, while Mr Merryfull was present inside the trailer. However, he said Mr Bloomfield would have thought the woman agreed to the sex. “At all reasonable times he believed she was consenting,” Mr Nathwani said. Mr Nathwani said character was not on trial and a trio in a trailer might not fit the “moral compass” of the individual jurors hearing the case. However, he said that would not be relevant to their assessment of the facts of the case. Mr Merryfield’s lawyer, Richard Edney, told the jury they should not compare their role as jurors to any media they may have seen or heard before. “This is not a true crime documentary or podcast,” he said. “This is something very serious where the prosecution must prove a case beyond reasonable doubt.” More news: Arrests follow fatal stabbings near Swan Hill Mr Cordy said the prosecution case, to be successful, would have to show the men intentionally committed the alleged assaults and the woman n had not consented to the acts. He said the prosecution would also have to show that the men did not reasonably believe she consented to the sexual activities. The trial, in Bendigo County Court, will continue today before Judge Mark Dean. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can access our trusted content:

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