Adjourned Undertaking for Theft

This is a case study on theft and dishonesty offences resulting in an adjourned undertaking (good behaviour bond). Our client was a 54-year old woman charged with 7 dishonesty offences. She had a relevant prior on her court history (shop theft) but this was from an appearance 12 years ago.

What is alleged to have occured?
The offences concerned allegations of shop theft, handling stolen goods, dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime, and go equip to steal. Initially, there were a total of 7 charges filed against her.

Following her arrest at the shopping centre, the police executed a search warrant of her home and many items were subsequently seized by the police on the basis that they were tainted property. Our client made admissions to the shop theft offences but many of the items suspected of being proceeds of crime/stolen goods were disputed.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court. The charges were:

Before the case reached the Contest Mention stage of the proceedings, we obtained current reports from our client’s treating psychologists. These reports were tendered during the plea hearing to evidence the counselling and good work that our client had been doing to address the underlying causes of her offending. A letter from our client’s GP was also useful in setting out her medical difficulties and the treatment that she was receiving (and was compliant with).

On a plea of guilty at the Contest Mention, our client received an adjourned undertaking for the Theft offences and other charges. This was a good outcome as the sentence would mean that our client will be able to continue psychological counselling. During this time, and through a process of negotiation with the police, several of the charges that were in dispute were withdrawn. Of the 7 offences that our client initially faced, she entered a plea of guilty to 2 Theft offences and the charge of Possess Property Reasonably Suspected of Being Stolen was downgraded.

What was the result?
Because of the plea material tendered during submissions, the magistrate was persuaded not to impose a more onerous order (such as a Community Corrections Order).

This case ultimately had a good outcome as we were able to secure the withdrawal of several offences on behalf of the client. She was placed on an adjourned undertaking for 12 months.

Related case studies
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 06/02/2017