Assault Charges and Affray – Assault Charges Acquitted, Fine

altercation-violence-assaultOur client was charged with recklessly causing serious injury, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, two counts of unlawful assault, and affray. He was at a pool with friends, and a co-accused was having an argument with the co-accused’s girlfriend’s sister over her daughter. The sister does not want the co-accused to have anything to do with her child. Bickering continued on throughout the night and eventually the co-accused got involved in an altercation with another man. The man held on to the co-accused which resulted in the co-accused head-butting the man.

It was in dispute whether the man was rendered unconscious as a result of the head-butt by the co-accused, by hitting the man’s head on a pool table on the fall down to the ground, or whether our client punched the man to the head after he had been head-butted.

It was then alleged that our client kicked and stomped the man whilst he was unconscious on the ground, tearing 3 of the 4 tendons in the man’s quadricep. Our client was then put in a headlock by another male after the alleged kicking and stomping. He was only released after the co-accused hit the male on the head with a pool ball. The altercation then ended.

We represented the client at the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court. We appeared at the contested hearing, which lasted for 2 days. Prosecution called 7 witnesses and Defence called 3 witnesses.

We first went through all the materials and made assessments as to why only certain witnesses were called by Prosecution and asked to give statements. This was something we highlighted to the Magistrate before the contested hearing began. We argued that this was part of the Prosecutorial duties, that is to call any relevant and material witnesses. We also went on to emphasise the significant delay in the matter finalising due to poor investigative techniques by Victoria Police and the effect of that on the case.

We cross-examined the Prosecution witnesses and highlighted the numerous inconsistencies with their own stories, as well as others. We then called defence witnesses, leading evidence of their version of events.

After the 2-day hearing, the Magistrate found that Prosecution had not proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt and found our client not guilty of recklessly causing serious injury, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, and two counts of unlawful assault. Our client was only found guilty on a single charge of affray and for this, received a fine.


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