Assault Offences – All Charges Withdrawn

Our client was charged with committing an aggravated burglary and intentionally causing serious injury. It was alleged that he was in company with two other men who forced their way into a house, armed with wooden chair legs, and assaulted the occupant.

All of those involved, witnesses and accused, had drug addictions and significant criminal histories. The occupant was receiving a disability support pension and his carer was present in the house. It was rumoured that the occupant was trafficking morphine pills.

Our client denied being involved in any violence but did see others fighting and covered in blood. He was facing the following charges:

  • Aggravated burglary
  • Intentionally cause serious injury
  • Recklessly cause serious injury
  • Intentionally cause injury
  • Unlawful assault

Josh Taaffe acted for our client and recognised that the Police brief contained no evidence that the men had trespassed. The carer’s evidence was that he had opened the door and let the men in. There was no other evidence from him as to what had taken place.

It can be crucial to the successful defence of criminal charges to recognise when the Prosecution lacks evidence of one of the elements of an offence. If the men were invited into the house as the evidence seemed to suggest, then that would be a complete defence to the very serious charge of aggravated burglary.

The case was booked in for a contested committal and Josh appeared for our client at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court. At the first listing the occupant evaded Police and did not turn up to give evidence. On the second listing when he again did not turn up, the Court issued a warrant for his arrest but police could not locate him. Finally, at the third listing of the charges, the Prosecution was forced to withdraw all charges against our client as the occupant was simply unwilling to give evidence.

One of the co-accused pleaded guilty without testing the evidence and received a significant gaol sentence. Our client, after the weakness in the Prosecution case was recognised, contested the case and had all charges withdrawn.


Josh TaaffeJosh Taaffe

Josh has extensive experience in indictable crime including sex offences, assaults & drug matters.

As an instructing solicitor Josh has specialised in handling complex matters, such as murder and terrorism trials, including State and Commonwealth Supreme Court trials. Josh is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist.

Visit Josh’s profile to read more about his background and experience.

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