The officer in charge of the sexual assault investigation of NRL player Jack de Belin and co-accused Callan Sinclair has told the court he did not speak to the alleged victim about an inconsistency between her account and what she told her managers.
The Wollongong police detective, who can not be named for legal reason, was cross examined on Tuesday afternoon during the NSW District Court trial in Wollongong where St George Illawarra Dragons player de Belin, 29, and Sinclair, 23, stand accused of jointly raping a then 19-year-old woman on December 9, 2018.
The pair have been charged with five counts each of aggravated sexual assault to which they have pleaded not guilty and claim the sexual intercourse was consensual.
De Belin's defence barrister David Campbell SC told jurors that police statements had been obtained from two work managers who recalled being told by the woman that there was another man present in the townhouse on December 9.
The detective said the woman never said in her statements that there was anyone else inside the Gipps Street townhouse, apart from de Belin, Sinclair and herself, on the night of the alleged sexual assault.
The court previously heard Troy Martin, who lived at the townhouse, was awoken by noises on December 9, went downstairs to investigate, stood at a bedroom door and saw de Belin standing naked at the foot of a bed, with a woman lying naked in the middle of the bed and Sinclair standing fully clothed near the mirror.
Mr Campbell went on to say Jack's cousin Jake Lewis had told police, in his statement, about a text message de belin sent him on the afternoon following the alleged assault which read, "PS I broke into your house last night and Trog (Troy) was there. Haha oops."
"Three sources....gave evidence a man was there, correct," Mr Campbell asked.
"Yes," the detective replied.
"Yet your evidence is...you didn't speak once to the complainant about that topic after she had given you her statement, is that correct?" Mr Campbell asked.
"No, I don't think I did," the detective said.
When asked why he did not do that, the officer responded, "the statement from Mr Martin was quite clear that he heard voices and it wasn't in the complainant's statement."
"I had two sources saying what occurred."
Mr Campbell said it was "unthinkable for an officer in charge of the investigation" to not speak with the complainant following the discrepancy nor seek further clarification from Mr Martin.
Mr Martin previously told the court he lied to police in his statement on Sunday, December 9 when he told them about the events that night as he did not tell them he got out of bed, let alone saw de Belin, Sinclair or the woman inside the bedroom.
Meanwhile, Detective Senior Constable Benjamin Sutton, who assisted the officer in charge, was also grilled about the lack of detailed notes taken throughout the investigation, as well as immediately following the initial complaint.
"Our priority was to get her to a hospital....the retention of that physical evidence was a priority at that time," Const Sutton said.
The officer could not recall making notes regarding many of his interactions with the young woman.
He also admitted serving a brief of "plainly privileged" material to the director of prosecutions.
"That should not have happened?" Mr Campbell asked, to which he responded: "In hindsight, no".
The trial continues.
- with Australian Associated Press
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