THE sexual assault trial of the former Anglican Dean of Newcastle Graeme Lawrence has began again on Wednesday in a judge-alone trial after the first trial was aborted and the jury discharged on Tuesday.
Mr Lawrence has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent and one of indecent assault in relation to an alleged assault on a 15-year-old boy in the dean's house in 1991.
The prosecution's case is that Mr Lawrence - then the second-most senior Anglican in the Newcastle diocese - had sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old in his house, known as the Deanery, next door to Christ Church Cathedral, on a night sometime between April 1 and December 31, 1991.
The jury trial began on Monday with opening addresses, the prosecution and defence outlining what they said would be the evidence in the trial and the issues for the jury to determine.
But on Tuesday morning Mr Lawrence's barrister, Paul Winch, raised with Judge Tim Gartelmann, SC, potentially prejudicial publicity about the case.
After all the parties listened to a local radio broadcast in court, and after Judge Gartelmann listened to it again and had it transcribed in chambers, he returned and discharged the jury.
At 3pm, the defence and prosecution returned to court with a joint-agreement that the trial would start before Judge Gartelmann alone, beginning Wednesday morning.
The evidence of the complainant will be heard before a closed court, while the media was not allowed to attend a viewing of the Christ Church Cathedral on Wednesday morning.