Jurors have started to deliberate the fate of Guy Sebastian’s ex-manager who is accused of embezzling almost $900,000 from the pop star.
Jurors in the trial of Guy Sebastian’s ex-manager have started their deliberations and will soon decide if the pop star was the victim of an embezzlement scandal.
Titus Day stands accused of misappropriating almost $900,000 in music royalties, performance and ambassador payments which were allegedly owed to the singer.
After seven weeks were spent hearing evidence from various witnesses including Mr Sebastian, his wife Jules, bookkeepers and the police officer in charge of the investigation, NSW District Court Judge Tim Gartelmann SC concluded his summing up the Crown and defence cases on Thursday.
The court was told the jury could only find Mr Day guilty if the Crown was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he deliberately and dishonestly withheld money owed to Mr Sebastian.
“It is not enough for the Crown to prove that he [Mr Day] in fact had no right to use the money as he did,” Jude Gartlemann told jurors.
“The Crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that he knew he had no right to use the money as he did at the time.”
Judge Gartelemann said the Crown had argued Mr Day was a lawyer and experienced manager of celebrities who knew what he was doing at all times when managing Mr Sebastian’s money.
“The Crown says the accused misappropriated the money because he either withdrew it or transferred it from the trust account of [his business] 6 degrees and used it for purposes other than Mr Sebastian’s benefits,” Judge Gartelemann said.
The defence barrister representing Mr Day argued he was entitled to be reimbursed for expenses he incurred representing Mr Sebastian.
“The accused, the defence argue, clearly had a belief that he was owed the money,” Judge Gartlemann said.
“The defence acknowledged the accused withheld [some of] the payments concerned … the defence argue this was because Mr Sebastian owed the accused money.”
The court was told Mr Day also used some of the money allegedly owed to Mr Sebastian — including about $39,000 from a British and Irish Lions rugby tour performance and about $187,000 from a Taylor Swift support act gig — to purchase shares on his behalf in a company called My Medical Records (MMR).
“The defence note Mr Sebastian claimed the money for the purchase of MMR shares came from his HSBC [bank] account and that emails showed another came from a CommSec account,” Judge Gartelmann said.
“The defence note neither the account records or the emails disclosing that were ever produced.”
In his final message to jurors, Judge Gartelmann said while many claims and counterclaims had been levelled during the trial, the jury’s job was only to decide if the Crown had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“There have been many arguments about who owed who what money, but that is not what this case is ultimately about,” he said.
Jurors are now locked in a room atop of Sydney’s Downing Centre court complex, considering 47 separate charges Mr Day has pleaded not guilty to.