Hung jury in swim coach sex abuse case
The jury in the trial of Kyle Daniels, the former Mosman swim instructor accused of sexually abusing his young students, has been discharged after failing to reach a verdict on most of the charges faced by the young coach.
The jurors had deliberated for just over a day before being discharged by District Court Judge Kara Shead on Monday.
They cleared Mr Daniels of five charges relating to the same girl at 1pm on Thursday, about 3.5 hours after beginning their deliberations.
But an early note to the judge made it clear there were deep divisions.
A second note, advising the five verdicts had been reached, contained a declaration of stalemate on the remaining 21 charges.
By Thursday afternoon the jury had sent a third, reading: "With all due respect we are at a deadlock and no amount of time would result in a different outcome."
One juror was discharged on Friday due to travel plans and another on Monday due to the northern beaches COVID-19 lockdown.
Mr Daniels now faces a potential retrial over the remaining charges, which involve all nine girls.
The Knox Grammar graduate was 20 years old and studying sports science at Sydney University when he was arrested for child sex abuse on March 12, 2019.
He was initially charged over police allegations involving the touching of a girl, 8, and her 6 year old sister.
Seven more girls came forward after Mr Daniels was arrested in a blaze of publicity.
He was ultimately hit with 26 charges relating to 23 alleged incidents at the Mosman swim centre between February 2018 and February 2019.
Mr Daniels has vigorously denied the allegations.
His trial in the NSW District Court ran for seven weeks, much of it consumed by evidence from the nine girls and their parents.
The prosecution claimed the youngest was five years old when she was allegedly touched by Mr Daniels; the oldest 10.
Crown prosecutor Karl Prince argued Mr Daniels was driven by a sexual interest in his students and brazenly touched them for his own sexual gratification despite the high risk of getting caught.
Mr Daniels' barrister Leslie Nicholls attacked the Crown case from multiple directions in his forceful closing address.
He honed in on inconsistencies and errors in the girls' stories, including one who said she had been touched 3-5 times in eight lessons she had with Mr Daniels when the swim centre records showed she had just three.
The barrister sought to paint a picture of a police investigation that targeted the young coach from the minute he was arrested.
Mr Daniels remained on bail throughout the trial and was supported by his parents, usually both of them, every day in court.
Originally published as Hung jury in swim coach sex abuse case