Threats to Kill and Unlawful Assault – Dismissed

Our client was residing in a government housing unit and was unhappy where he had been placed. He complained to the Department about excessive noise coming from the apartment at night which stops him from sleeping.

On two occasions, the client went upstairs to try and sort out the matter with his neighbour. He was alleged to have yelled “I’ll f***ing kill you” to the neighbour and to have spat at him through the screen door. He was then charged with threats to kill and unlawful assault. Our client denied making the threats to kill and to the spitting but admitted going upstairs and yelling at the neighbour to be quiet.

Our client suffers from schizophrenia and is HIV positive.

We represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for the charges of:

Materials were obtained from health professionals attesting to our client’s medical condition. We arranged to have his Senior Clinician Caseworker attend at court on the day. At court, a summary case conference was conducted with the prosecutor and, following negotiations, the prosecutor agreed to amend the charges to a single count of Use Threatening Words with the Unlawful Assault to remain. Our client agreed to plead guilty on this basis and submissions were made to the Magistrate about his physical and mental health issues, as well as the circumstances the offending.

Our client was very anxious about the possibility of receiving a conviction. Given the seriousness of a threat to kill charge, the negotiated outcome with the prosecutors was considered a very positive resolution. We obtained great results before the Magistrate as we prepared the matter thoroughly and attended at court with strong mitigating plea material, including letters from our client’s psychiatrist and case workers. Arranging to have our client’s case worker at court also lent support to our client’s case.

The Magistrate found the charges proven and dismissed the case.


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