Conviction Appeal – Indecent Act With a Child Under 16
This is a case of conviction appeal for Indecent Act With a Child Under 16 and Unlawful Assault.
Our client was charged with eight instances of sexual offending against the son of very close family friends. The complainant was aged 14 at the time.
It was alleged that in the context of the complainant discussing with our client the complainant’s confusion over his sexuality, our client told him that he also thought he might be gay, and reached over and touched his genitals. Following this incident, our client allegedly offended against the complainant in situations where the two of them were alone, or when no one was in the immediate vicinity. The complainant disclosed the offending to his family members and it was then reported to the police.
The client was initially represented by different solicitors at the Magistrates’ Court. A contested hearing was conducted and he was found guilty of all charges. He was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment and placed on the Sex Offender Register for a period of life. He came to the firm for representation on an appeal.
Kristina Kothrakis acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne County Court for the conviction appeal involving the charges:
In cases where the parties are known to each other, it is important to have a full understanding of the dynamics between the parties to try and find a reason for the complainant to make up a lie. We found out from the client that this young man had been having problems at home with his mother. She was rarely home and gave him little attention.
The complainant spent a considerable amount of time with my client and his wife and he often complained of the treatment he got from his mother. In the past, he had also made allegations about his biological father sexually abusing him. He later admitted that it wasn’t true. This gave us some insight into the lengths the complainant would go to for attention. Our position in the case was that the boy was making up the allegations in order to gain the attention of his mother and family.
Careful analysis of the versions provided to the complaint witnesses, the police, and the magistrate at the initial hearing revealed a number of inconsistencies in the complainant’s accounts of what occurred. Further, we were able to demonstrate that text messages he had provided to the police as evidence of acknowledgement by our client of wrongdoing had been tampered with, by the complainant deleting messages that formed part of a series.
Further, the implausibility of the complainant’s account was also highlighted at the appeal. For instance, the first allegation is said to have taken place in a moving manual transmission vehicle that my client was driving at the time, through the narrow back streets of Brunswick. The judge ultimately found that the allegations could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
The appeal was allowed and all charges marked struck out. Our client was found not guilty of all charges and the order of the Magistrates’ Court which placed our client on the Sex Offenders Registry was struck out as well. This was an excellent result for a conviction appeal for Indecent Act With a Child Under 16 which is a very serious offence.
Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.
Visit Kristina’s profile to read more about her 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 21/11/2017