Theft and Assault – All Charges Withdrawn

Our client was charged with attempted theft and assault. These offences were alleged to have been committed at a party attended by several invited guests and also many gate-crashers. Our client was an invited guest.

It was alleged that prior to leaving the premises, our client picked up some DVDs in the lounge room and attempted to steal them by placing them in his back pack. Further, it was alleged that upon leaving the party, our client assaulted the daughter of the owner of the property by raising a fist over her head and abusing her verbally. Our client admitted to being at the party but strenuously denied the allegations of attempted theft and assault.

We represented the client at the Ringwood Children’s Court.

The matter proceeded from summary case conference to contest mention. At the contest mention, the prosecution agreed to withdraw the charges and not proceed with the matter, on the agreement that we would not seek costs against the police. This was agreed to by our client and the charges were withdrawn.

The evidence against us consisted solely of the statement of the complainant. Her statement was vague and unclear as regards the specifics of our client’s actions, particularly in regards to the attempted theft. There was no corroborative evidence from others at the party who either witnessed the events or spoke with the complainant about them. The allegations were not captured on CCTV or video.

Our client instructed that he believed that the complainant was being pressured by her father to maintain her false story and that she may not be willing to give evidence us under oath, should the matter proceed to a contest. This was compounded by the fact that the complainant and our client’s sister are long term friends.

We raised relevant matters with the prosecution at the summary case conference. The matter was adjourned for a contest mention and the prosecution advised that they would speak to then complainant to clarify the ambiguities in her initial statement. On the return date, this had not been done. The prosecution indicated that they wanted to adjourn the matter for a further date to enable them more time to make the inquiries. We opposed this on our client’s behalf. Further negotiations followed and ultimately the prosecution agreed to withdraw the charges and the matter finalised on this basis.

Our client is a young man of only 16 years of age. He is seeking to continue to university after school and to build a professional career. Had he been found guilty of these charges, it may have been detrimental to his career prospects.

As it stands, his record remains clear and the matter is at an end.


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