Our Solicitor, Nicholas Hardy-Clements, represented a 40-year-old man at Parramatta Local Court in relation to a common assault domestic violence related offence pursuant to section 61 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
Domestic Violence in the presence of a child
In brief, our client and the victim have been together for approximately 15 years. The victim had recently given birth to their child. Like most doting fathers, our client was focused on taking care of his wife and their child, often neglecting his own mental health. That being said, mentally, both he and his wife were adjusting to life as parents. Very late one evening, both our client and the victim began arguing over raising the child. As a result, the victim began making arrangements to stay overnight at a family member’s house, which upset our client to a point where he slapped the victim once to her face. A neighbor overheard the argument and called the NSW Police.
Upon conferencing our client and obtaining instructions, we advised there were several aggravating factors in relation to the incident. The offence involved the actual or threatened use of violence, was committed in the presence of a child and in the home of the victim. Moreover, because the offence was domestic violence in nature the court would treat the offence as serious. Without proper preparation and care being given to the matter, it was very likely our client would receive a criminal conviction.
On the evening of the offence, the NSW Police attended at our client’s residence at 3:00am. When speaking with the NSW Police that morning, our client immediately expressed sadness in himself and apologized to his wife and the NSW Police. Police obtained a domestic violence evidence in chief from the victim before cautioning our client and questioning him on body worn camera. Our client made full and frank admissions to assaulting his wife due to how frustrated he has become. Understandably, our client did not hesitate to instruct his solicitor to formally enter a plea of guilty to the offence and to set his matter down for sentence.
At the sentence hearing, Mr Hardy-Clements assisted the client to prepare a number of character references and drafted detailed written submissions, of which canvased the mitigating factors relevant in this case. It was submitted the injury, emotional harm, loss or damage caused by the offence was not substantial, the offence was not part of a planned or organised criminal activity, our client did not have any criminal record, our client was of prior good character and was unlikely to re-offend. In addition to this, our client had good prospects of rehabilitation as he had attended several one-on-one psychology sessions for behavior and there was good evidence of remorse.
Mr Hardy-Clements submitted on the purposes of sentencing for domestic violence matters, of which can be relevantly distilled in terms of emphasis on rehabilitation, punishment and deterrence along with added consideration regarding the appropriateness of a term of imprisonment and/or a supervised community-based order. Ultimately it was submitted that consideration be given to Section 10(3) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and that the Magistrate could deal with the matter without proceeding to conviction.
After considering all the material before the court and Mr Hardy-Clements’ detailed submissions, the Magistrate sentenced our client without proceeding to conviction and imposed a Conditional Release Order for a period of 2 years in accordance with s 9(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This was a great result for both our client and our firm.
This case illustrates the importance of experience and teamwork offered at Jameson Law. At Jameson Law, we take the time to understand our client’s individual circumstances. The team is always working hard to ensure cases are prepared properly and presented in a way that ensures the best outcome.