Birbal’s retrial collapses
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: Oct 22, 2013
A man who claims that he was raped by his teacher throughout high school will have to relive the experience in a third trial.
Justice Roy Jones on Monday ordered a retrial in the unnatural sexual intercourse case of former art teacher Andre Birbal after he dismissed the jury over concerns of possible jury contamination.
Jones said it was discovered that two people were selected as jurors who should not have been included in the jury pool.
He said he had to discharge the nine-member panel in the
“interest of justice” as he did not know if those people “had been planted for an improper purpose.” Alternate jurors are only selected in murder cases.
The man, who is now 24, said that he had his first sexual experience with Birbal when he was just 12.
He said that he was raped repeatedly until he graduated.
Birbal was convicted in 2011 of having sex with two of his male students.
The appellate court quashed that conviction and ordered a new trial last year because errors made by the trial judge resulted in a “gross miscarriage of justice”.
The second accuser declined to testify at the retrial.
Jones will set a new trial date on Friday. Birbal remains on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons.