Historical Sex Offences – Discontinuance

This is a case study on a discontinuance for historical sex offences involving a father and his child.

What is alleged to have occured?
The complainant in this matter was the biological daughter of our client. She alleged that her father sexually assaulted and raped her on multiple occasions from the ages of 9-13. The assaults would take place on access visits. The parents divorced when the complainant was about 5. It was a very bitter separation. The complainant had developed self harming tendencies and refused to see the accused from the age of 13.

The complaint was made to police as a woman in her mid-20’s. She had required the assistance of psychologists over the years and was generally functioning quite poorly. Throughout her complaint alleging sexual abuse, there was also an allegation made of physical abuse and other bad behaviour. She made a very detailed witness statement coming to around 62 types pages. She described events in detail, and often was able to point to some person or thing, that would be able to substantiate her allegation. It appeared to be a very strong case for the prosecution.

What happened at court?
Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne County Court. The charges were:

Our client pleaded not guilty to the charges. He categorically denied any sexual assault, or physical assault. The client had a reasonably reliable memory of events that took place all those years ago. Prior to the committal hearing, we were able to go through the brief, with him providing instructions about the surrounding circumstances relied upon by the complainant. We were starting to see a pattern emerge where the material she was relying upon in support of her charges, were not being corroborated by the other available evidence.

At the committal hearing, we explored this pattern as well as an aspect of her evidence where she said she had nightmares about the offending; and in the morning would wake up and would be confident that it did in fact happen. We tested this topic extensively and were able to use it as a basis of undermining her credibility and reliability. It led to us issuing subpoenas of medical practitioners and psychiatrists, whose notes revealed further inconsistencies in the complainant’s version.

At the trial, we further tested these issues. Following the pre-trial legal argument about admissibility of evidence, we submitted an application for the prosecution to file a notice of discontinuance.

What was the result?
Following three days of pre-trial argument, a discontinuance for historical sex offences was requested by the defence which the prosecution eventually acceded to.

Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

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.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
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 09/03/2016