Summary Jurisdiction Application for Assault Charges

This is a case study involving a summary jurisdiction application for assault charges and a firearm offence.

Our client’s girlfriend was distressed and was in an emotional state when she called him to pick her up from a party in Woodstock. She had been assaulted by an intoxicated male at the same party. Upon meeting his distressed girlfriend, he made a rash decision to enter the private property and confronted the male that had assaulted his girlfriend.

What is alleged to have occured?
At the time of entry into the private property, the client was allegedly armed with a dual purpose torch/baton. He was confronted by the complainant and host of the party as he entered the garage where the party had been arranged. As a result of the struggle, the complainant received a small cut to his face and behind his ear. Our client was forcibly removed from the party and during the course of being ejected from the property received multiple punches resulting in injuries.

The client was apprehended by the police, interviewed, and he made full admissions to his offending. He was remorseful. The prosecution initially charged him with assault offences, however this was upgraded to a strictly indictable charge of Aggravated Burglary. Aggravated burglary is a charge that cannot be finalised in the Magistrates’ Court and must be determined in the County Court.

What happened at court?
Consequently, our client case was uplifted from the summary stream into the indictable stream and a committal mention was fixed. Negotiations with the prosecution prior to the committal mention date resulted in the prosecution withdrawing the offence of Aggravated Burglary (the most serious charge). The case was set down for a plea to 3 charges: Intentionally Cause Injury, Unlawful Assault, and Trespass.

We provided legal representation at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The charges were:

The case proceeded as a summary jurisdiction application for assault offences and the firearm offence, which turned out to be successful.

The context in which the offending occurred was a very significant factor in this case. Our client acted in a very impulsive and rash manner because of the distress of his girlfriend. The court accepted that the offence was out of character, and this submission was borne out through his lack of criminal offending and the responsibility he had taken for the offence.

Evidence of our client’s participation in counselling months before the legal proceedings commenced was also a relevant factor. Submissions also focused on the relevant sentencing principles that apply to young offenders. The magistrate was directed to a relevant Court of Appeal authority which empowers magistrates and judges to take into account the relative immaturity of young offenders, particularly their tendency to make at times ill-considered and rash decisions. Highlighted further was the benefit to the community in a young person’s rehabilitation as a protective measure against further re-offending.

Our client’s candid admissions in his record of interview and his remorse demonstrated through his plea of guilty were also factors that weighed heavily in mitigation for our client.

What was the result?
After a plea in mitigation, our client received a without conviction and an adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour and to continue to receive counselling as directed.

This was an excellent result from the successful summary jurisdiction application for assault offences and the firearm offence, down to the sentencing outcome. It should also be noted that the prosecution made an application for a Forensic Sample (DNA mouth swab) which we argued against. The magistrate declined to make this order.

Elements of Intentionally Cause Injury:
  • The complainant suffered an “injury”
  • The accused caused the complainant’s injury
  • The accused intended to cause injury
  • The accused acted without lawful justification or excuse
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 24/09/2018