Jurors in the trial of accused Lin family killer Robert Xie have been told that the case will involve allegations of sexual abuse of a young female by a close male relative and "gruesome and graphic" evidence.
A 15-member jury was empanelled in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday in the trial of Lian Bin "Robert" Xie, 50, who is accused of murdering five members of the Lin family in the bedrooms of their North Epping home on July 18, 2009.
He has pleaded not guilty to murdering his brother-in-law Min "Norman" Lin, Mr Lin’s wife Lily, their two children Henry and Terry, and Lily’s sister Irene.
Justice Peter Johnson told a pool of potential jurors - who were later whittled down to 15 - that a previous trial "did not proceed very far" and they should be prepared to ignore media reports about the case.
"The jurors selected must reach verdicts in this trial only by reference to evidence given in this trial," Justice Johnson said.
Senior Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, said the trial would involve "allegations of sexual abuse of a young female by a close male relative".
They would also hear "very gruesome and graphic evidence of injuries that these five people sustained".
He said they would be shown photographs of the bodies and a video of the crime scene, which they would also visit.
Justice Johnson said the trial, which is slated to run for four months, could interfere with jurors’ travel plans over Christmas.
The court heard that the family was "battered to death" and "significant blood was shed".
Justice Johnson said some of the evidence would "necessarily" be "graphic and disturbing" in light of the number of victims, the young ages of Henry (12) and Terry (9), and the fact the victims "suffered significant damage to their faces".
Mr Tedeschi is expected to deliver his opening address on Tuesday.
Fifteen jurors, rather than the usual 12, have been empanelled because the unusual length of the trial creates a risk that some jurors will be unable to continue until the end of the trial.
But only 12 jurors, including the foreperson and another 11 selected by a ballot, will retire to reach a verdict.