Breach of Intervention Order – Community Corrections Order

Our client has been in a relationship with his current partner for 6 years. He has lengthy priors and has previously faced family violence charges in relation to his partner, including causing injury and breach of intervention order. For these offences, he has previously served terms of imprisonment of up to 6 months.

What is alleged to have occured?
On this date, the client had four police briefs before the court. One matter concerned driving charges, including drive while disqualified. Our client also has priors for this kind of offence. The balance of the briefs were family violence related. There were two breach intervention order charges and a more serious threat to kill charge.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Having already spent three weeks in custody, our client was released and sentenced to a treatment only Community Corrections Order.

The most serious and concerning charge was the threat to kill. The allegation was that our client had threatened to throw his partner under an oncoming train. Our client’s partner was willing to make a statement of no complaint and did not want the matter to proceed. This weakened the prosecution case. There was however, an eyewitness to the events.

Further to this, we argued during negotiations with the prosecution that the threat to kill charge was simply not supported by the evidence. The prosecution conceded this and agreed to proceed only on a threat to inflict serious injury.

Lengthy submissions were made to the Magistrate in regards to the offending and, more particularly, our client’s personal circumstances. This includes the fact that our client has long battled alcoholism and, more recently, an addiction to pain medication. He has also suffered depression and anxiety for some time but has not engaged with any professionals on a long term basis. Our client previously worked as a chef but has not been able to do this for some time due to being assaulted and injured some years ago. The court was advised that our client’s partner had recently varied the intervention order to allow contact between the parties.

Our client is no stranger to prison and has served lengthy terms before, for similar offending. This would seem to suggest that a further lengthy term on the present offending was therefore unavoidable. However, on a detailed analysis of our client’s history, we realised that although he has previously received community based orders such as Intensive Corrections Orders, it has never been a condition that he receive drug and alcohol counselling or mental health counselling. He has never before received a therapeutic based order and been given the opportunity to address his substance abuse and mental health issues. This was highlighted to the Magistrate.

What was the result?
In all the circumstances her Honour agreed to release our client and place him on a short Community Corrections Order (eight months) with provision for drug and alcohol counselling. No order for community work was made. The Magistrate also did not interfere with our client’s licence.

This is a great result for our client. First and foremost, he was released from custody that day and allowed to return home. Secondly however, he has been released with supports in place and the opportunity to address long standing underlying problems, which he is willing to do. He is working on repairing his relationship and is confident that if he can address his substance abuse and mental health issues, he will be on the path to recovery and will avoid the glare of the criminal justice system in the future.

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