Diversion for Theft With a Similar Prior

This is a case study on a sentence of diversion for Theft with a similar prior.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with a relatively minor shop theft ($200) from a store in the Melbourne CBD. She came before the court in her 50’s. Having a criminal record for this matter (which would be categorised as a deception matter) would be detrimental to her employment as a manager in the finance sector.

Unfortunately, our client had a prior matter from 30 years ago where she was given a good behaviour bond for a similar offending.

What happened at court?
Dee Giannopoulos acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on a charge of Theft From Shop.

We advised the client that we would make an application for diversion. We gave her a list of references to obtain and other courses to engage in which would assist us in making the application. She was advised further by Dee that it would not be an easy task to secure a diversion because she already had a prior record for a theft matter.

The client adhered to our advice and obtained the material we suggested. We put together a written application to the prosecution for diversion consideration. The prosecution agreed in the circumstances of the prospect of loss of employment to provide a diversion notice.

When the matter proceeded before the court, the diversion application was refused on the papers by the magistrate. The magistrate’s view was that there could not be a diversion granted where our client had a prior criminal record for the same kind of offending. Dee made persuasive oral submissions in relation to the fact that there was no bar in the legislation to diversion being granted in the circumstances. A further submission was made that whilst it was aggravating that our client had a prior for similar offending, that did not pose any detriment to her current employment due to it being 30 years old. However this current matter, being a current deception offence, would and our client ought to be offered an opportunity to avoid a criminal record in the circumstances.

What was the result?
Ultimately, the magistrate was persuaded to grant the diversion and our client walked away from court without a criminal record for this new offending. This was a good outcome. A sentence of diversion for Theft with a similar prior would mean that she could continue with her employment for many years to come.

Elements of Theft:
  • The accused appropriated property belonging to another;
  • The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property; and
  • The accused acted dishonestly.
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Dee is based in our Melbourne office and appears at all Courts in Victoria. Dee’s commitment to her clients and her passion for justice drives her to achieve great results.

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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 16/08/2019