Diversion for Behave in an Offensive Manner

This is a case study on a sentence of diversion for Behave in an Offensive Manner.

Our client was driving and he noticed that up ahead there was someone driving in a manner that was causing cars to have to overtake and go around it. When he came to be directly behind the car, he noticed that the car was driving slowly, and the driver was frequently looking down towards her lap. He flashed his high beams in an effort to get her to take note of her driving.

What is alleged to have occured?
The driver and passenger then both turned around. He flashed his high beams again. The female passenger then stuck her middle finger up at him and started filming him on her phone. When they stopped at red lights up ahead, the client got out of his car and knocked on the driver’s side window. He saw that the driver had a phone in her lap and this made him angry because he realised that the cause of her bad driving was inattention, and it was dangerous.

The two girls were laughing. He then said to her ‘stop being a smart arse or I’ll drag you out and smash your head against the car’. He then went back to his own car. The girls called the police and made statements.

The police and the courts take incidents such as this very seriously. They have the potential to escalate very quickly. In this instance, the client was a man in his 50’s who had no prior convictions. He had worked in several different industries, primarily in security and protection. His current job involved a position of responsibility, where he receives and, in fact, trains others on how to diffuse situations with members of the public. It seemed unusual that a man with his training and normal demeanour would behave in that manner.

What happened at court?
The client was charged with Unlawful Assault and Threats to Inflict Serious Injury. Kristina Kothrakis represented him at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. It must be noted though that this case later resolved into a sentence of diversion for Behave in an Offensive Manner.

A crucial part of mounting a defence for this case was taking full instructions from the client about what was going on in his life at the time. It was revealed that his wife was recently diagnosed with a serious disorder, his son was having personal difficulties, and his other son was getting married and the client was financially responsible for the wedding which was placing him under pressure. Whereas normally he would throw himself into work to take his mind off things, in recent times a co-worker was making things difficult for him so work was no longer a sanctuary. All these pressures combined were so great, that he snapped when this incident occurred, and he behaved badly.

Kristina formed the view that given the circumstances, this was a matter which was capable of being considered for diversion. Kristina approached the police and discussed the circumstances and the charges with them at a summary case conference. The client was charged with Threat to Inflict Serious Injury, Behave in an Offensive Manner, and Unlawful Assault.

What was the result?
On Kristina’s assessment of the matter, the most appropriate charge was the Behave in an Offensive Manner in Public. The police agreed to proceed on this charge only and further agreed to recommend the client for diversion. Through careful completion of the diversion paperwork, obtaining character reference material which substantiated the difficulties in the client’s life, as well as demonstrating the client’s normal disposition, we were successful in getting a diversion for the Behave in an Offensive Manner charge.

Elements of Behave in an Offensive Manner:
  • The accused person was in or near a public place or within eyeshot or earshot of another person in a public place
  • The accused person engaged in obscene, indecent or threatening language or behaviour
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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 17/01/2019