Jacob Hoggard trial jurors ‘stuck,’ judge urges more deliberation

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“Your Honour, we are unable to agree unanimously on some counts.”

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The judge in the Jacob Hoggard sex assault case says jurors “stuck.”

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The jury, which began deliberations Tuesday afternoon, sent a note to Superior Court Justice Gillian Roberts Thursday morning: “Your Honour, we are unable to agree unanimously on some counts.”

The former frontman of Hedley has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference involving one of the complainants when she was 15.

Roberts called the jury into court and urged them to try again.

“Rest assured we all know how hard you’ve been working and we’re very grateful for that,” she said.

“In light of your note, I have some further instructions for you — members of the jury, you have reported that you’re having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict on some counts. It is not mandatory but obviously desirable that you do so.”

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Roberts said she could discharge them on the counts where they are deadlocked but believes it’s too soon.

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She encouraged them to consider everyone’s opinion and keep an open mind. “Perhaps try taking a different process or approach,” she said. “Or if you’re stuck on a factual issue, it may be helpful to ask for a piece of evidence to be replayed or repeated.”

The judge reminded them of their promise to return a true verdict according to the evidence and warned them not to be tempted to break that vow.

“Listen carefully to each other. To do so requires some give and take in this exchange of opinions, but it does not require you to put aside your own generally held view of the evidence only for the sake of reaching a consensus,” she said.

“Members of the jury,” Roberts concluded, “would you please try once again to reach a verdict?”

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