Sexual Assault – No Priors

Behave in an Indecent MannerThis is case of Stalking and Sexual Assault involving an accused with no priors.

Our client was charged with Stalking, Behave in an Indecent Manner, and Sexual Assault. He in his early 20s at the time of the alleged offending and had no prior offences. All of the sexual assault offences involved inappropriate touching of women over their clothing on the buttocks area. One of the women was 16 years old.

One batch of offences occurred some 10 months after the first. As a result of the second and more recent batch of offences (Sexual Assault), our client was arrested and taken into custody. He did not apply for bail and pleaded guilty to all offences.

A psychological report was organised and this assessment occurred whilst our client was in custody. At the time of his plea of guilty, he had spent a period of 66 days in custody. The sexual assaults were not objectively at the upper end of the scale in terms of the seriousness, but an aggravating factor was that one of the women was 16 years old at the time of the offence. The court also noted the adverse impact each offence had on the women.

Shaun Pascoe acted on the client’s behalf at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court. The charges were:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Stalking
  • Commit Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail

The Magistrate took note of the fact that the client was 24 at the time of the offences. It was especially noted that he was charged with Stalking and Sexual Assault but he had no priors. The contents of the psychological report that was tendered during the plea were also taken into account. This psychological report considered a number of factors and had diagnosed the client with a condition which had been hitherto undiagnosed.

Apart from the significance of our client’s lack of prior history, the court also noted that he had lost his employment and what was otherwise a promising career, that he was remorseful, and that the psychological assessment placed him at low risk of future offending. The strong support from the client’s parents who attended the court for his hearing was also remarkable. A letter was tendered to the court outlining their disappointment at their son’s offending but also stating their resolve to ensure that he was successfully rehabilitated.

Further, the court noted that our client’s plea of guilty saved the victims from further trauma which was possible through a contested process, and this fact was also determinative of the client’s outcome. The court observed that our client had spent 66 days in custody following his arrest, and that for someone with no prior court history or experience in a prison, this experience was significant and would serve as a powerful deterrent against future offending.

In summary, our client’s age, lack of priors, period of time already spent in custody, and the strong prospects for rehabilitation (his remorse, family support, and the matters identified in the psychological report) were factors which persuaded the Magistrate that a further period of imprisonment (beyond the 66 days he had already served) was not required having regard to all the purposes of sentencing.

It is unlikely a non-custodial outcome could have been achieved without these various factors coming together.

The client was ultimately sentenced with conviction to a Community Corrections Order for 18 months to comply with supervision and treatment as directed. An order for registration under the Sex Offenders Act for a period of 8 years was also made as it was mandatory for the court to do so. This was a good result for someone charged with Stalking and Sexual Assault but who has no priors.

 


Shaun PascoeShaun Pascoe

Shaun is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist and a partner of the firm. Shaun runs the Heidelberg branch of Doogue + George.

He is an experienced criminal law solicitor and works hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients. Shaun handles indictable and summary criminal offences and is an expert at criminal defence for both contested and non-contested cases.

Visit Shaun's profile to read more about his background and experience.

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 22/11/2017