The retrial of a Hawke's Bay man accused of historic sexual abuse has been aborted in the Napier District Court.
The man, who has interim name suppression, was standing trial this week after denying a number of charges that allege sexual abuse against his daughter and niece more than four decades ago.
However, the retrial, which was set down for one week, was aborted just before midday yesterday after a witness giving evidence fell ill for unrelated reasons and it became clear the court proceeding would take longer than one week.
The jurors had been summoned for five days and several indicated they would not be available for jury service next week.
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Judge Bridget Mackintosh said it was an unfortunate situation, discharged the jury and ordered a retrial for another date later this year.
Yesterday the court heard allegations of historic sexual abuse first came to light when the man's daughter complained to police in 2013.
The alleged offending began in Auckland in the early 1970s, continuing in Hawke's Bay until the early 1980s, at times when the two complainants were both under 12 years old, Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly said in her opening address.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to five charges of indecency with a girl under 12 years old, four of indecency with a girl aged between 12 and 16 and one each of rape and attempted rape. Most of the charges are representative.
The matter will be called in a jury trial callover on March 5 for a new date to be set.