The judge has issued an apology as key issues remain unresolved and another delay involves the embezzlement trial of former manager Guy Sebastian.
The judge at the trial of former manager Guy Sebastian has apologized to the jury after “problems” resulted in less than 90 minutes of testimony on Thursday.
Titus Day pleaded not guilty to 50 counts of fraudulently embezzling nearly $900,000 in royalties, performances, and ambassadorial fees allegedly owed to the singer.
Mr. Sebastian, the trial’s main witness, ended his testimony on Tuesday after seven days of interrogation.
His former accountant, Dorcas Kemp, began testifying on Wednesday, but before her return on Thursday afternoon, jurors spent the morning cooped up in a room while Mr Day’s attorney and Crown Attorney David Morters dealt with legal matters.
When jurors were admitted to trial, Judge Tim Hartelmann SC said he was “acutely aware” of how frustrating the situation was.
“There was a problem that the parties had to deal with before the evidence could proceed,” he explained.
“I hope you will agree that I forced you to return as soon as we were practically able to continue collecting evidence.
“The issues have not been fully resolved. I expect there will come a point where we can’t go any further today until some further investigation or verification is done before the end of the day.”
Ms. Kemp returned to the witness stand to answer questions from Mr. Morters about a series of email exchanges and financial transactions.
She told the court that, despite repeated attempts to obtain information about the costs from Mr. Day – about the costs associated with work in the amount of about $ 500,000, which Mr. Sebastian received for performing at four Taylor Swift concerts – the details are as follows. and were not provided.
It is alleged that part of the amount Mr. Day is charged with was cash owed to Mr. Sebastian for Taylor Swift’s work.
The court heard when Mr. Day was asked to provide details to Ms. Kemp and her colleagues, he wrote an email saying: “Just letting you know that I’m working on it…it’s taking a little time, I’ll do it as soon as possible “. .
During Ms. Kemp’s testimony, Mr. Sebastian’s new manager, Jennifer Fontaine, briefly appeared on screens in the courtroom.
Judge Hartelmann stopped the trial for a moment while Ms. Fonteyn turned off her camera and continued to observe the trial from a remote location.
Moments later, Mr. Morters said he could not continue to ask for evidence, and the trial was halted.
Judge Hartelmann told jurors that what they saw in the courtroom was just “the tip of the iceberg” when it came to trial work.
“Once again, we apologize for the delays… sometimes it is unavoidable, despite the best efforts of the parties,” he said.
The latest delay occurred after the first judge appointed to preside over the trial Judge Peter Zahra SCdied just a few days after the start of the trial.
Mr Sebastian also contracted Covid-19 and was unable to testify for seven days.
After Judge Hartlemann took office, an ambulance was called to Sydney’s Downing Center, where the trial is taking place, as one of the jurors was suspected of having an allergic reaction to food.
Mr Morters later contracted the virus and was forced out of isolation in Melbourne.
The trial will resume on Friday.