Bail Application for Armed Robbery While on CCO

This is a case of bail application for armed robbery while on CCO involving a client on a ‘show cause’ position.

What is alleged to have occured?
The client was charged with armed robbery that occurred late at night, outside a night club. It was alleged that our client carried out the armed robbery together with another person. The weapon used was a glass bottle but was carried by the co-accused and not by our client.

When our client was arrested, he was remanded into custody where he remained for over a month before we ran a successful bail application. We acted on his behalf during the bail application at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The charges involved were:

From the beginning of the bail application, our client was in a difficult position and not necessarily a strong candidate for bail. He was aged 19 at the time of the alleged offending and was on a Community Corrections Order (CCO) due to an another armed robbery which he was sentenced for in 2015.

The nature of the new offending placed him in a ‘show cause’ position for bail. The prosecution alleged that he was an unacceptable risk of further offending in the community. Practically speaking, this means bail is not automatic and it is up to us to demonstrate why he should be released.

What happened at court?
The prosecution case against our client was reasonably strong, so we were not in a position to make lengthy submissions about the weakness of the case. Rather, we relied heavily on the positive supports available to our client in the community and addressed the court on appropriate conditions for bail that could reduce the alleged risk to an acceptable level.

Our client is a young Sudanese man who spent time in refugee camps before settling in Australia. He has been in and out of trouble with the police since his early teen years and had a significant problem with alcohol for a long time. He has managed to get this largely under control although alcohol use and abuse is still a factor in his life. He does not have a stable relationship with his family and has not been able to live with his mother for several years.

Unfortunately, prior to his arrest, our client had been making limited progress on his CCO. However, we made enquiries with Corrections and were able to advise the court that should bail be granted, our client was welcome to re-engage with Corrections and continue with the requirements of his CCO.

Crucially on the bail application, we called evidence from two witnesses. The first being our client’s housing worker who had built up a trusting relationship with our client over time. She gave evidence that our client still had independent supported accommodation available to him. If released on bail, the housing worker advised that she would provide more intensive support to our client than had been in place previously. This would include picking him up from home and taking him to and from his regular appointments with Corrections and the like.

The second witness was a youth worker from the school our client attends. From this evidence it was established that the school was willing to have our client return and that a structured plan would be put in place to ensure his attendance and progress at school.

In combination, we relied on our client’s youth, the potential delay in getting to trial and the risk of unwarranted time in the community, a stable address, the availability of supports in the community, and the opportunity to continue his education.

What was the result?
The magistrate was ultimately satisfied that our client had shown cause as to why his continued detention would not be justified. Bail was accordingly granted. This was an excellent result especially that the bail application was for an armed robbery committed while on CCO.

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 28/04/2017