Plea of Not Guilty to Multiple Assault Charges – Acquitted

Our client was charged with 5 offences: Make threat to kill, Intentionally cause injury, Recklessly cause injury, Unlawful assault with a weapon, and Unlawful assault.

What is alleged to have occured?
The circumstances of the alleged offences concerned a fight between our client and his older brother. The police alleged that our client initiated the assault by a series of acts including eye-gouging and striking the complainant with a sharpening steel.

It was not in dispute that our client had in fact used the steel, and that the complainant had received a small laceration on his head as a result. Our client maintained consistently at the earliest instance and throughout his interview with police that he had been acting in self-defence.

What happened at court?
The matter proceeded through case conference and contest mention before being set down for a 1-day contested hearing. At the commencement of the hearing, the prosecution withdrew the offence of Make threat to kill. We acted on the client’s behalf at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court.

After pleading not guilty and running a contested hearing, our client was found not guilty on all charges.

This outcome was achieved in large measure to our cross-examination of the complainant where his testimony was shown to be deficient and unpersuasive in several key respects. The Magistrate also found our client’s in-court testimony to be consistent with his interview with the police, during which he repeatedly maintained that he was acting in self-defence.

What was the result
The Court accepted that there was clear evidence that our client was acting in self-defence, and it found that the prosecution had not disproved this defence beyond reasonable doubt.

Following the successful defence, the prosecution was ordered to pay our client’s costs.
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 03/03/2015