Former Liberal Party staffer Bruce Lehrmann has been named as the “high-profile man” accused of two counts of rape in Queensland.
The Supreme Court in Brisbane today refused to grant further non-publication orders in the case, which was first listed in Toowoomba Magistrates Court in January this year.
The charges relate to an alleged incident involving a woman Mr Lehrmann met in a Toowoomba nightclub in October 2021, a year before he appeared in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court charged with the alleged rape of Canberra colleague Brittany Higgins in March 2019. The trial collapsed following juror misconduct.
Today Justice Applegarth ruled Toowoomba Magistrate Kelly had not erred at law when she refused Mr Lehrmann’s application for a non-publication order earlier this month.
Mr Lehrmann’s counsel argued his name should be suppressed on mental health grounds, referring to a psychologist report which had raised concerns about self-harm and suicidal ideation.
Justice Applegarth noted Mr Lehrmann had participated in three television interviews between June and August this year.
“Rather than lower his public profile and retreat from the media spotlight, the applicant chose for whatever reason to appear more than once on national television and revisit events that had triggered his mental illness in early 2021,” he said.
“He seemingly felt well enough to engage with sections of the national media, and to deal with any resulting further coverage he received from the media outlets he appeared on and other media that followed up on his high-profile appearances.”
The two rape charges will be mentioned again in Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Wednesday.