Brittany Higgins fears details about alleged rape might attain Peter Dutton, courtroom hears

Brittany Higgins informed a courtroom that she eliminated textual content and pictures from her cellphone earlier than handing it over to police as a result of she needed to “purify” the “horrible components of my life”, together with photographs of her former boss Linda Reynolds, and was then Involved in regards to the circulation of data to Residence Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Higgins’ cross-examination That continued on Friday, when protection barrister Steven Whybrow pressured him to take away the fabric from his cellphone in 2021, as he ready to reinstate a police criticism in opposition to his former aide and political staffer Bruce Lehrmann.

Higgins has alleged that she was raped within the early hours of 23 March 2019 by Lehrman, who was her colleague on the time. Lehrman has denied the allegations and pleaded not responsible to at least one cost of sexual assault with out consent.

The courtroom heard that shortly after the alleged rape, Higgins had deleted a textual content in April 2019 to a buddy and former companion, political activist Ben Dilvey, saying she was not going to proceed with the criticism.

It was additionally heard that she purged her cellphone of images of Reynolds, in whose workplace she alleged she had been raped.

“I by no means needed to see Linda Reynolds’s face once more so I deleted any photos of her,” she stated. “I needed to clear all of the horrible components of my life.”

“My cellphone is my life, and I did not need her on my cellphone. I needed to erase her from my life.”

Whybrow advised she wasn’t telling the reality, as she later despatched a photograph of herself and Reynolds to Information Corp journalist Samantha Maiden.

Higgins stated the photograph was seemingly from his Instagram, not his private cellphone.

Whybrow then advised that Higgins had deleted greater than Dilway’s message and embarrassing pictures.

“Yeah, I’ve admitted it overtly,” Higgins stated.

Whybrow advised that he additionally eliminated the audio recordsdata from his cellphone.

Higgins stated he had shared these audio recordsdata with as many individuals as attainable earlier than deleting them from his cellphone. She did so as a result of she was involved about what the police would possibly do with the fabric, the courtroom heard.

Whybrow requested her if she was fearful that the police would attempt to “push” her cellphone.

She stated she was involved that the data is perhaps handed on to the workplace of the then Residence Secretary, Peter Dutton.

Dutton, she informed the courtroom, had publicly disclosed “groundbreaking data” about her case, lengthy earlier than she gave her proof to police in a keynote interview.

She stated that she understood how the circulation of data works within the departments of the ministry.

Such data was “not silent”, she stated.

“I used to be very, very scared,” Higgins stated tearfully. “I used to be searching for authorized recommendation to know my rights as a result of I used to be scared.”

Beforehand, cross-examination centered on her communication with the police in February 2021, when she determined to reinstate her rape criticism, deciding to not proceed with it within the weeks following the alleged assault.

Higgins informed AFP in an e-mail on 4 February 2021 – when she gave an interview to Maiden and The Mission journalist Lisa Wilkinson – that her working situations had modified and she or he now needed to pursue the criticism.

He additionally requested the police if there was any strategy to view and overview the case file created initially in 2019.

Higgins was requested if he had made such a request in order that he might ship the paperwork to Maiden and Wilkinson.

“I simply needed to know that there was an energetic case file,” Higgins stated. “I wasn’t certain if it nonetheless existed of their system or if I needed to begin the method over once more.”

Lehrman denies raping Higgins and is preventing the costs at trial within the ACT Supreme Courtroom.

The listening to continues Friday earlier than Chief Justice Lucy McCallum.

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