Brittany Higgins Credibility Scrutinized in Closing Arguments

Brittany Higgins’ authenticity is under scrutiny in the final days of the trial of the man she accused of raping her after she was stated to be an “honest” witness.

Bruce Lehrmann is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent.

Higgins claims she was attacked by Lehrman inside the Capitol office of former Cabinet Minister Linda Reynolds, who she worked on as a staff member, in 2019.

Brittany Higgins was an “honest and credible” witness, said a juror in Bruce Lehrman’s rape trial. (Getty)

Prosecutor Shane Drumgold completed closing arguments on Tuesday and told jurors that Higgins was an honest and credible witness and was unwavering in her sexual assault allegations.

He said Higgins was facing a situation where political forces were at work and she was right to act cautiously.

But Steven Wibrow, Lehrman’s defense attorney, said a closer look at Higgins’ evidence made the prosecution’s claims against his client “completely untenable.”

He said the “kindest way” to summarize the incident was to say that Higgins simply didn’t know what happened that night, but had her fabricate the allegations to save her job. He suggested that there was a motive.

Whybrow said it was “pretty embarrassing” to be found asleep in a minister’s office and cause a security breach.

“Is it reasonably possible that this complaint is being filed because her ‘dream job’ is in jeopardy?” Whybrow said.

He said Higgins woke up in Parliament on Saturday morning after a night out drinking with colleagues and waited until “a wiser hour” to leave, hoping no one would notice.

Bruce Lehrmann is on trial in the ACT Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. (Nine)

Whybrow also suggested that Higgins falsified a doctor’s appointment at the time to “make it more believable” that he had been sexually assaulted.

He said there was no record of Higgins attending these appointments, and that the reason she didn’t go was because she didn’t have to.

“The person who made the allegation[Higgins]is ready to say anything,” he said.

“She says she superficially supports her position, but that proves to be unreliable.”

But prosecutors said that even if Higgins fabricated her allegations, it was an elaborate fabrication and that she was “a considerable actor.”

Drumgold said Higgins didn’t hesitate to testify and was honest when he couldn’t remember anything.

He said her version of events remained the same, from days after the alleged assault to her appearance in the witness box, to the police complaint two years later.

Meanwhile, he said Railman gave inconsistent explanations to security guards, his superiors and the police as to why he attended Congress the night of the alleged assault.

Drumgold said Lehrmann’s intention was to go to the Capitol with a “drunk” and “vulnerable” Higgins.

“This is the most convenient place to leave her[Higgins]alone, and she suddenly says she doesn’t have to work in the middle of the night,” he said Tuesday.

Senator Linda Reynolds will appear before the ACT Supreme Court in Canberra on Monday 17 October 2022.
On Monday, Linda Reynolds was accused of trying to obstruct the trial by demanding copies of transcripts of Higgins’ evidence. (Alex Elinghausen)

Dragold pointed out that the defense claimed Higgins filed a complaint to keep a staff job in Reynolds’ office, but did not reapply for the job after the election.

He told jurors that there was strong political power at work in the 2019 federal elections and the period that followed, in the immediate aftermath of the alleged incident.

“It’s clear that this is a young woman in the midst of a strong political force,” he said.

“We say she was right to be scared, right to be cautious, and right to move slowly and carefully.”

Closing arguments for the defense continue Wednesday.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, domestic violence or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or case of emergency, please call 000.

If you need help in an emergency, call Lifeline at 13 11 14.

Brittany Higgins Credibility Scrutinized in Closing Arguments

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