Jack de Belin’s sexual assault charges have been dropped.
The St George Illawarra Dragon hasn’t played for two-and-a-half years under the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy, but his lawyers were told the Director of Public Prosecutions won’t pursue a third trial against the St George Illawarra National Rugby League player.
De Belin had already been subject to two previous attempts to convict him, but both those trials ended in a hung jury.
De Belin’s solicitor Robert Foster confirmed that his office had received notification from the DPP that prosecutors would be dropping the trial.
“The Crown will not be proceeding to a third trial in this matter,” the email from the DPP said.
Foster said that, “for all intents and purposes, this means the charges have been dropped and the matter is at an end. The presumption of innocence remains intact”, while de Belin’s lawyer, David Campbell SC, said his client “wanted to get on with his life and career”.
“The best way to describe it is if the charges were never brought,” Campbell said. “The presumption of innocence prevails and when the prosecution determines to discontinue proceedings, it’s as if they were never brought.
“He just wants to get the boots on and show everyone how he can play football.”
The Dragons have already lodged paperwork with the NRL to register de Belin’s contract, which could see the 30-year-old return as soon as this weekend.
“Today’s outcome concludes a tumultuous period for all involved in the Jack de Belin matter,” Dragons CEO Ryan Webb said.
“I wish to thank the support received by our partners, members and fans throughout this entire process.”