Glassing – Assault Charges – Guilty Plea in County Court

This is a case study on offences that involve glassing and other assault charges.

What is alleged to have occured?
The client was assaulted prior to entering a nightclub with a friend. He had been drinking all day and at the time he arrived at the nightclub he was intoxicated. Whilst inside the nightclub, he saw whom he thought was the man who had assaulted him outside the club and hit him twice in the face while holding a beer glass in his hand. The victim fell to the ground and was kicked by the accused a number of times before the accused was pulled away.

The victim sustained serious lacerations to his face and neck, including a penetrating eye injury that resulted in long-term vision impairment.

The client was 25 at the time of the assault and had prior Court appearances for assaults, although these were some years old. He pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury.

Overall, our client faced the following charges:

  • Intentionally cause serious injury
  • Recklessly cause serious injury
  • Intentionally cause injury
  • Recklessly cause injury
  • Assault
  • Reckless conduct endangering serious injury
The client came from a broken family and had commenced drinking alcohol at the age of 12. His father was largely absent and when he was present he was usually drunk and physically violent towards the client, his mother and sisters.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Melbourne County Court.

The Judge took into consideration the age of the client and the fact that he had not received a term of imprisonment before. She also took into account that in all other respects he was a contributing member of the community: he had a good work history; he was married and had small children. The Judge recognised that the accused had had a problem with drinking and that at the time of the offending could be characterised as an alcoholic. Since the offending, the accused had voluntarily entered into a 30-day inpatient detoxification program and was still attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly.

While commenting that the charge of intentionally causing serious injury was a serious one, and that glassing’ was treated with contempt by the community and the courts, the Judge was of the opinion that this was at the lower end in terms of seriousness, given the client’s degree of intoxication and his long struggle with alcohol.

What was the result?
For the reasons cited above, the Judge agreed with the submission that the client ought to spend a longer period of time on parole, to maximise his chances of rehabilitation. The client was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 3-and-a-half years and ordered to serve 22 months before being eligible for parole.
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 25/02/2013