Dawson and Lehrmann cases received ‘massive amount of coverage’ after Chris Dawson sentenced and Lehrmann trial dropped

Sky News host Chris Smith discusses the two major court cases which made headlines on Friday: the sentencing of convicted murderer Chris Dawson and the termination of the Bruce Lehrmann rape trial.

Mr Smith said each case had received “a massive amount of coverage this weekend” and that Dawson’s conviction would not have been possible without journalist Hedley Thomas’ The Teacher’s Pet podcast.

“Without that podcast, Friday’s closure would not have eventuated,” he said.

“Nowhere near it.”

The abandoning of the trial of Bruce Lehrmann, who was accused of raping former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins in 2019, “didn’t end for the reasons most imagined”, Mr Smith said.

“The charge he faced … was abandoned, because the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, stated there was an ‘unacceptable risk to the life of the complainant’.

“Now while we should be mindful of how hurtful this trauma has been for Brittany Higgins, we should be acknowledging the same too for Bruce Lehrmann, who’s had to confront the possibility that he could be imprisoned for 10 or more years if he were found guilty.”

He said the past few months have been “a harrowing period for both parties”.

“Made even worse by the notoriety of the case and the politics played by so many who put themselves in the middle of this case.”

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