A staunch principle of the Australian Criminal Justice System is that all individuals should have the right to a fair trial. The trial should result in a verdict worthy of confidence. Interpretation of existing principles of law, rules of evidence and investigative procedures should not increase the risk of wrongful conviction to an unacceptable level. The prosecution should adequately disclose all material that is relevant to the issues to be tried. Whether the prosecution intends to use that material as part of its case or not should have no bearing. The decision of the relevance of said material should not be left to the sole discretion of the prosecution.
The term plausible was used throughout the Crown’s case to assert that there could only be one possible explanation for the events leading to the tragic fall. Plausible is defined as an argument or statement that is seemingly reasonable or probable. To conclude that there can be only one plausible outcome is absurd. Simon’s explanation is not only the most plausible, but it also matches the physical evidence. The Crown version is implausible. There is no compelling physical evidence that supports the Crown’s theory. In fact much of the evidence contradicts the Crown’s theory.
Summary overview of Simon’s explanation
When Cecelia became upset with Simon she rushed out onto the balcony and climbed over the balustrade using the treadmill which is in close proximity to accomplish this. She attempts to reach the awning with her foot but the awning is lower than the level of the balcony. This miscalculation causes her to misstep, resulting in her leg buckling. Simon reaches over but is unable to help as she is too far out of reach. She slips and falls striking the 14th floor awning with sufficient force to be catapulted outwards. Simon screams out her name in anguish. This loud scream is what attracts the attention of the young student standing in front of the building on the opposite side of the road, he looks up and sees the falling body. The sound also attracts the attention of Joshua Rathmell who is walking through Hyde Park.
Summary overview of “Verdict” explanation
Cecelia is allegedly rendered unconscious in an unstated manner, carried onto the balcony and then “unloaded”. This is achieved by negotiating the small space between the treadmill and the potted plant without causing any disturbance. The unload is allegedly performed with hands held by his side and his forearms parallel to the ground. To achieve this action Simon’s hands would need to pass through the 1.2 meter glass balustrade when straightened as the height of the balustrade is greater than the height of the aforementioned forearm position. The sheer impossibility of the preceding cannot be emphasised too strongly. Even if there were no obstacles in the way and the balustrade was much lower you would still need to posses exceptional strength to clear the awning using the “unloading” manner described. As mentioned previously Cecilia struck the 14th floor awning after she slipped and fell. The awnings protrude 900 millimetres. This effectively means a velocity needs to be achieved that enables the body to avoid the 15th floor awning, but subsequently causes it to curve back in and strike the 14th floor awning.