Affray and Intentionally Cause Injury – Charges Withdrawn

Initially this matter was heard in the Melbourne Children’s court as a contested hearing where he and six co-accused were fighting charges relating to an affray and intentionally causing both serious and non-serious injuries to a number of victims who were skate-boarding in the docklands.

Our client has always maintained that he was present at the time when the scuffle ensued between some of his friends and the skateboarders, and that he saw part of what was going on but had no involvement in the violence. He was however charged with:

  • Affray
  • Intentionally cause injury

We represented the client at the Melbourne County Court.

The matter proceeded as a contested hearing for 10 days, and ultimately he was acquitted of the most serious charges, but found guilty of a lesser charge of recklessly causing injury. The Magistrates’ decision in relation to her finding seemed incongruent with the evidence and her findings in relation to the balance of the charges of which he was acquitted. On our legal advice, he appealed both his conviction and sentence. The matter was then listed for a contested conviction appeal in the County Court.

The matter was listed twice, and on both occasions, many witnesses who had been subpoenaed refused to attend (most of them had been found guilty at the earlier hearing in the Children’s Court and the victims were able to be bound by their previous evidence at the earlier hearing which saw our client acquitted).

After three witnesses gave evidence which could not establish the guilt of the accused and the balance of the witnesses were unable to be located, the prosecution agreed to abandon their case.

The remaining charge against our client was therefore struck out.

Despite our client at times wanting the matter to be over and considering relenting to plead guilty just so it wouldn’t be hanging over his head for a year and a half, he was advised to continue with the appeal which in our view had merit (the crown had offered to agree to seek a lesser penalty if he pleaded guilty).

Both the instructing solicitor and experienced counsel which was briefed at the Children’s Court and again in the County Court were able to work together to advise the client to pursue the appeal which ultimately saw him absolved of all offending.


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 25/02/2013