Attempted Aggravated Burglary and Other Charges – Circumstantial Case

This is a circumstantial case of Attempted Aggravated Burglary and other charges.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with a series of five home invasions / aggravated burglaries. The said incidents occurred on the same night and all but one of the alleged offences took place within fairly close location to each other.

There were six people charged. All were young men from an African background and the police alleged that all six had committed the offences together. None of the victims could identify any of the offenders and could only describe the males involved as being of African descent.

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

  • Attempted Aggravated Burglary
  • Attempted Burglary
  • Attempted Theft
The case against our client was wholly circumstantial. In relation to one of the incidents, the circumstantial evidence was strong. But the case was weak in relation to the rest of the incidents as there was no identification evidence or forensic evidence such as DNA and fingerprints.

We took the matter to a contested committal and cross examined the witnesses. Questions were asked about how many people were involved in the offences and the limited extent of the witnesses’ observations on the night. We also cross examined the police informant about the scope of the investigation and the lack of evidence connecting our client to the offences.

What was the result?
We submitted that the charges in relation to all the incidents except for one (with the stronger evidence) should be discharged given the lack of evidence. Written submissions were prepared and ultimately the Magistrate agreed with our position and discharged our client on all incidents except the one with stronger evidence. Subsequent to this, our client entered a plea of guilty to the one remaining incident.

This is an amazingly positive outcome for an Attempted Aggravated Burglary charge in a circumstantial case. Although our client still served some gaol time, the sentence is years shorter than it otherwise would have been. This result came about through a close and measured consideration of the prosecution case and a commitment to challenging the prosecution to justify their position. Our client is a young man with his adult life ahead of him. This outcome has spared him spending years of his youth behind bars and he is now able to move forward in a positive way.

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 13/02/2018