The prosecution is entitled to include charges in an indictment that are presented in the alternative. Where this occurs, the jury cannot return a verdict on an alternative charge until it returns a verdict on the principal charge (LLW v R (2012) 35 VR 372;  VSCA 54; Medici v R (2013) 39 VR 350;  VSCA 111).
The judge must ensure that the jury understands this rule. If the jury cannot agree on the principal charge, any agreement on an alternative charge would involve impermissible compromise (LLW v R (2012) 35 VR 372;  VSCA 54; Medici v R (2013) 39 VR 350;  VSCA 111).
Where there are alternative charges on the indictment, the judge, at the start of the trial, should inform the jury that:
The indictment contains charges in the alternative;
The alternative charges all relate to the same factual allegations, but will require the jury to consider different legal tests;
At the end of the trial, the judge will need to take verdicts on each charge sequentially.