Group Conferencing Program for Robbery Offences

This is a case study on Group Conferencing Program for Robbery offences committed by a young person.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was a young man who had been charged with Robbery offences against other young people in the western suburbs, targeting mobile phones and headphones. Initially, the client had taken a non-active role with his peers in the offending, but his behaviour had escalated and he had become the instigator and main offender in his second offence.

What happened at court?
The matter was heard at the Children’s Court in Sunshine and we appeared on the client’s behalf.

We advised the court of our client’s progress since the offending – that he had been attending school regularly and that he had obtained part-time employment. Given the client’s youth, it was suggested that he have an opportunity to participate in the Group Conferencing Program.

Group conferencing only operates in the Children’s Court jurisdiction and is based on restorative justice principles. The aim is to help the young person avoid further or more serious offending by strengthening the young person’s family and community supports, and identifying ways of restoring the harm associated with the offending behaviour. A group conference is attended by the young person, their family and/or supports, the victim and/or their representative, family and/or supports of the victim, the legal representative of the young person, police, community members, and the convenor.

We attended the group conference with our client and his father. A victim, victim representative, and support people also attended. The participants talked about what had happened and our client had an opportunity to see and hear the impact of his offending behaviour on his young victims. He apologised and his apology was accepted by all. He also indicated that in the future, not only would he cease offending behaviour, but that he would also attempt to positively influence his peers.

What was the result?
The matter returned to court with a positive outcome plan from the group conference. Ultimately our client was not convicted of the offences and was placed on a good behaviour bond. The Group Conferencing Program for Robbery offences led to a great outcome especially that it provided our client with real insight into the impact of his behaviour, and an opportunity to chose a different path in future.

Elements of Robbery:
  • The accused committed theft (stole something).
  • Immediately before or at the time of the theft, the accused either:
    • Used force on any person; or
    • Put any person in fear that the accused or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force; or
    • Sought to put any person in fear that s/he or another person would, then and there, be subject to the use of force.
  • The accused did so immediately before or at the time of stealing.
  • The accused did so in order to commit a theft.
Related case studies
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 08/03/2019