Brittany Higgins posted a series of cryptic photos in her final Instagram post just days before she was admitted to hospital and her rape trial was abandoned.
In one of them, she wears a long navy dress and is walking purposefully towards the ACT Supreme Court alongside her lawyer and partner, David Sharaz.
In the other, the 28-year-old is standing outside the court wearing a brown pantsuit and is lifting one hand to her mouth as tears stream down her face.
‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,’ Charles Dickens [a tale of two cities],’ the caption read.
Brittany Higgins posted a series of cryptic photos in her final Instagram post before she was admitted to hospital, including this selfie with advocates Grace Tame and Chanel Contos
The 28-year-old included a photo from the October rape trial in which she is wearing a brown pantsuit and lifting one hand to her mouth as tears stream down her face (pictured)
Ms Higgins was reacting to the news that the heavily-publicised rape trial would be scrapped after a jury member brought prohibited reading material – an academic study about false rape allegations – into the courtroom.
Ms Higgins, 28, claims her ex-colleague Bruce Lehrmann sexually assaulted her in defence minister Linda Reynolds’ office at Parliament House after a boozy night out in Canberra in March, 2019.
Mr Lehrmann, 27, has always strenuously denied the allegation and pleaded not guilty in the first trial before it sensationally collapsed in October.
Her Instagram series came just two weeks before a second trial scheduled for February 2023 was abandoned after she underwent a medical assessment.
On Friday, ACT DPP Shane Drumgold explained his decision saying: ‘I’ve made the difficult decision that it is no longer in the public interest to pursue a prosecution at the risk of the complainant’s life.’
Close friend Emma Webster revealed Ms Higgins was currently in hospital.
Ms Higgins also posted a photo of her adorable dog Kingston and this photo of a beach
Ms Higgins included a selfie with her partner David Sharaz in her photo series which she captioned: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’
‘She is getting the treatment and support she needs,’ she said. ‘The last couple of years have been difficult and unrelenting.
‘While it’s disappointing the trial has ended this way, Brittany Higgins’ health and safety must always come first.
‘Brittany is extremely grateful for all the support she has received, particularly from our mental health care workers.’
Mr Shergold said he had acted after receiving medical reports warning of the possible impact of the retrial on Ms Higgins’ health.
He still believed there was a reasonable chance of conviction in the case, but he had to balance it against effect on Ms Higgins.
‘I need to consider the harm that could be occasion to a party, particularly a complainant from an ongoing prosecution,’ he said on Friday.
‘I’ve recently received compelling evidence from two independent medical experts that the ongoing trauma associated with this prosecution presents a significant and unacceptable risk to the life of the complainant.
One of the photos pictured Ms Higgins petting the paw of a Guide Dog in a navy dress
Ms Higgin’s adorable dog Kingston also made it into the photo series posted two weeks ago
‘The evidence makes it clear that this is not limited to the harm of giving evidence in a witness box, rather applies whether or not the complainant is required to enter a witness box during a retrial.’
‘Whilst the pursuit of justice is essential for both my office and for the community in general, the safety of a complainant in a sexual assault matter must be paramount.
‘This has left me no option but to file a notice declining to proceed with the retrial of this matter which I’ve done this morning. This brings the prosecution to an end.’
The DPP also blasted the personal attacks Ms Higgins has been subject to after going public with her allegations.
‘Ms Higgins has faced a level of personal attack that I’ve not seen in over 20 years of doing this work,’ he said. .