The Events and Police Charges
Our client was involved in a domestic altercation entailing two separate charges of common assault under s61 of the Crimes Act. The offence of common assault carries an imprisonment term of 2 years. He also had an AVO taken out against him in relation to one of the victims.
The prosecution made various allegations against our client including that he had thrown a tissue box at one of the victims, charged at her, punched her, and held up a coffee table with the intention of hitting her with it, or at least threatening to do so. In relation to the other victim, the prosecution proposed that our client assaulted her by grabbing her by her hair and swaying her.
Our Submissions and the Court
Our legal team rebutted these allegations in Burwood Local Court maintaining that the victim was unable to provide sufficient evidence, several alterations were made to each account of the events, there was mutual agreement between our client and the victims in relation to the performance and administration of certain activities, and that the actions of the victims did not constitute self-defence. Submissions were also made with regards to his otherwise good character and no prior convictions or criminal history.
His Honour found our client guilty of throwing the tissue box and charging towards one of the victims as this was admitted to by our client. However, our client was found not guilty of punching and threatening to hit the victim with a coffee table, based on insufficient and contradictory evidence provided by the prosecution and as noted by our team. In relation to the assault on the second victim, His Honour found that her actions were not in self-defence as they were not in reasonable force, thereby finding our client not guilty of assault.
The Outcome – Section 10 Non-Conviction
Our submissions and rebuttals were enough to satisfy the magistrate, resulting in a 12-month conditional release order with no conviction recorded. A 12-month AVO was also imposed as His Honour issued this s10 non-conviction. Provided that the AVO is not breached, our client does not receive a recorded criminal conviction. This is a highly favourable outcome given the seriousness of the proposed charges.