Jury to resume deliberations tomorrow in Suzi Taylor trial

The jurors in the trial of former The Block contestant Suzi Taylor and a co-accused, who are charged with deprivation of liberty, extortion and other charges, have retired for the day.

After two hours of deliberations, Judge Suzanne Sheridan allowed the jurors to go home.

They will continue their deliberations from 9.30am Thursday.

Suellen Jan Taylor and Ali Ebrahimi have pleaded not guilty to deprivation of liberty, assault occasioning bodily harm in company, extortion, fraud and attempted fraud.

David Butler told the court Ebrahimi allegedly tied him up for hours and he and Taylor punched and kicked him, after he went to Taylor's New Farm unit on October 31, 2019, to have sex with escort "Katie".

Former The Block contestant Suzi Taylor.
Former The Block contestant Suzi Taylor.

Mr Butler said he gave up his bank PIN number, after Ebrahimi, who had failed to transfer money to Taylor's account, allegedly said he would kill him if the PIN did not work.

James Benjamin, counsel for Taylor, pointed to Mr Butler's previous lies to police and in sworn testimony in another court, and inconsistencies and "implausible" evidence.

He said it was an affront to the law that someone would walk into a courtroom and "lie through their teeth".

"He's a liar," Mr Benjamin said of Mr Butler.

Mr Butler, under cross-examination, had admitted to lying in his police statement and in Magistrate Court committal proceedings, about how he met escort Taylor, claiming it was through a dating app.

Ali Ebrahimi is on trial with Suzi Taylor for alleged extortion, deprivation of liberty, attempted robbery and fraud. Picture: Dan Peled
Ali Ebrahimi is on trial with Suzi Taylor for alleged extortion, deprivation of liberty, attempted robbery and fraud. Picture: Dan Peled

The judge said they had to consider whether consideration of Mr Butler's earlier lies was central to the case and whether they affected his credibility.

They also had to consider if they affected his overall credibility as a witness and whether they accepted his explanation for the lies.

Judge Sheridan said Mr Butler was asked questions, under cross-examination, suggesting he was upset about having to pay Taylor and went to police and said he was assaulted to try to get his money back.

He denied it.

Judge Sheridan said to find Taylor guilty of the offences, other than the assault, they had to find she aided Ebrahimi or was a party to the offences.

The prosecution had to prove that the offences were committed by Ebrahimi and that Taylor knew that the type of offences which were committed were intended.

It was not sufficient that she knew only of the possibility of the offences that might be committed.

The Crown case was that Mr Butler was detained against his will by both Taylor and Ebrahimi in order to obtain money Taylor believed Mr Butler owed her for her escort services.

Originally published as Jury in Suzi Taylor trial retires, deliberations to resume tomorrow