What happens now after the trial of an Auckland taxi driver accused of groping radio host Jay-Jay Feeney ended in a hung jury?

Baljeet Singh was on trial this week for allegedly indecently assaulting the media personality during a taxi ride to Feeney's apartment in the early hours of October 1 last year.

However, after three days of evidence and legal submissions, the Auckland District Court jury were unable to reach a verdict.

Their deliberations began yesterday morning before late in the afternoon they returned to tell Judge Nevin Dawson they were almost evenly divided on a verdict and not making any progress.


Judge Dawson encouraged them to return to their deliberations and attempt to reach a unanimous verdict.

All juries are instructed by the presiding judge to try and reach a unanimous verdict.

However, in criminal cases, after a jury has deliberated for at least four hours and have not reached a unanimous verdict the judge may instruct them to consider a majority verdict.

A majority verdict is a verdict agreed to by all except one juror and can only occur if the foreperson states in open court there is no probability of the jury reaching a unanimous verdict, the Juries Act stipulates.

If a majority verdict can not be reached, a judge can also give what is known to lawyers as the Papadopoulos direction.

A Papadopoulos direction encourages jurors to persevere with their deliberations and to demonstrate a willingness, having listened carefully to the views of other jurors, to change their view.

After again attempting to reach a unanimous verdict, Singh's jury returned to tell Judge Dawson they had exhausted all their possibilities and the jury was still almost evenly split.

The jury asked to be discharged and Judge Dawson agreed they had done their best but would be unable to reach a verdict.

Hung juries are not rare and do occur from time to time in the judicial system.

Singh was remanded on bail and will appear in court again in two weeks.

It is now up to the Crown to decide if it will seek a retrial for the taxi driver, who denies the charge and entered a not guilty plea last year.

The Crown said Feeney never resiled from her evidence that she had been indecently assaulted.

The long-time host of The Edge's breakfast show waived her right to suppression and has talked about her allegations on social media.

However, Singh's defence lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg QC, argues the 28-year-old had been publicly and falsely accused and "is living every man's worst nightmare".