Family Violence – Accused With Mental Health Issues

This is a case study on family violence and an accused with mental health issues.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with multiple breaches of Family Violence Intervention Order against his wife whilst on a Community Corrections Order (CCO) for previous domestic violence offences against her. The most serious breach involved a drug-induced verbal tirade containing threats to his pregnant wife that led to her attempting self-harm.

The client has a long history of violent offending (not all domestic violence) and his last four court appearances all relate to domestic violence against the same partner (his wife).

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court. In this case of family violence involving an accused with mental health issues, the charges made were:

The client had been doing well with rehabilitation (behavioural modification therapy) but has mental health issues that were previously undiagnosed. This was worsened by illicit drug use which he previously was not admitted to.

We were able to obtain psychological material which went to his dire mental health at the time of the offending; and this resulted in the client being admitted as an inpatient in a psychiatric unit. There were also positive changes afoot which had led to our client and his partner co-parenting despite no longer being a couple.

What was the result?
The client’s engagement in drug rehabilitation, addressing his mental health issues through treatment and medication, and without further offending for 6 months post-treatment was sufficient to give him a further opportunity to avoid jail despite the family violence charges. The court allowed him to continue his existing CCO with a fresh CCO (extending to another 12 months beyond the existing order) for the new offending.

This was a great outcome for a case of family violence with an accused with mental issues.
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 12/02/2018