The case against Titus Day commenced before 15 jurors and Judge Peter Zahra in the Downing Centre District Court last Tuesday.The trial has since been plunged into chaos with Sebastian testing positive to Covid-19 a day after giving evidence against his former manager and Judge Zahra now fighting for life in hospital.
Three days on, he remains in hospital on life support with concerned family and friends keeping a constant vigil.Those involved in the case have been informed Judge Zahra was feeling unwell and were warned there will be delays due to a new plan and time frame for the continuation of the trial, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The trial has been listed for mention on Monday before Judge James Bennett.
Mr Zahra is regarded as one of NSW’s most well respected judges and was described by legal sources as ‘intelligent, fair and just’.He spent several decades as a public defender before he was appointed to the NSW District Court in 2007.
Judge Zahra previously sentenced former Hey Day actor Robert Hughes and disgraced former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer.
‘I don’t know how you would cope with someone, when you walk into the room, saying ‘Silence, all stand’,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald at the time.
‘It’s an odd concept for a human being … I find it really troubling.’
The inaugural Australian Idol winner tested positive to Covid-19 the next day, forcing the cancellation of several concerts this week.
Day is accused of embezzling about $900,000 from his client over seven years, which the celebrity manager has forcefully denied.
Day has pleaded not guilty to 50 charges of embezzlement as a clerk or servant, and 50 alternative counts of stealing. The charges relate to about $900,000 in allegedly missing royalties and performance fees.
The amounts of money the 49-year-old is alleged to have embezzled range from $361.34 in royalties to $187,524 in performance fees. One charge concerns a $21,000 ambassadorship. The trial is expected to last five weeks and comes two years after Day’s arrest when he was charged with misappropriating the money from Sebastian between 2013 and 2020.
The court heard this week Sebastian only suspected Day had embezzled money from him after the chart-topping singer had ended their business relationship.
He examined financial records after that bitter split and allegedly discovered ‘anomalies’ which have resulted in Day being accused of embezzling almost $1million, the court heard.