Historical Rape, Indecent Assault, Gross Indecency – Discontinuance

Our client was charged with historical sexual offences against his daughter that were alleged to have occurred over 20 years ago.
He had also been previously charged with similar offences against the same complainant previously in another jurisdiction. However, these charges were discontinued by the Prosecution.

A subsequent complaint was made in Victoria and charges were laid. These were:

The matter went to committal hearing and was listed for trial. We represented the client at the Melbourne County Court.

On a number of occasions, we applied on behalf of our client to the prosecution for discontinuance. The second time was a week prior to the trial commencing. The case involved complex legal issues including tendency, first complaint, confessions, credibility, uncharged acts, and a number of others. The case was made particularly difficult given that a large proportion of credibility issues were found in statements that related to the previous complaint in the other jurisdiction.

An application for discontinuance was made on the basis that the accused could not properly defend his case without prejudicing his case by bringing up discontinued matters that will result in substantial unfairness.

The Prosecution discontinued the case three days before the trial commenced. Hence the application for discontinuance was successful.

This meant that our client avoided having to go through the trauma of a trial and potentially being found guilty of the charges. Substantial work was done by the solicitor and Counsel in preparing the case and its strategy which included lodging a further application for discontinuance.


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