Assault Charges – Fine Without Conviction

Our client was charged with intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, and assault (with the likelihood of a further charge of reckless conduct endanger serious injury to be laid) on his baby nephew by burning his hands on an oil heater.

We represented the client at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court.

Successful negotiations were able to be had about the context of the offending which changed the tenor of the prosecution case, which was intentionally taking the toddler’s hands to an oil heater and pressing them against the heat rails as a form of punishment, to a toddler touching many things, warned not to touch a heater, and an example of a short touch to see how hot it is in order to avoid further contact, without realising the extent of such an injury on young skin.

A plea in mitigation was made to the court explaining the family dynamics which led to him (as a 20 year old) often looking after his nephew without supervision or experience.

Despite the inherent difficulties in this type of case and the general deterrence in relation to causing injuries to very young children in one’s care, the Court was able to accept that there were many mitigatory factors at play which led to this offending which was unlikely to be repeated. This case was therefore able to be distinguished from other physical child abuse cases.

As such, he was able to escape a conviction and received a modest fine which can be paid by instalments.


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