Earlier this month, our criminal defence lawyer, Ellyse Kwan, represented a client in court facing charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.
The prosecution sought to rely on five police witnesses to substantiate their case.
During the hearing, a meticulous and planned line of questioning was used to highlight inconsistencies among the witnesses, undermining the prosecution’s case.
There were two separate incidents in this case, involving different complainants but heard jointly in a single court hearing.
The first incident concerned the client’s partner, who, at the time of the alleged incident, had bruises on her arms, legs and forehead, and scratches to her neck.
A series of text messages were submitted as evidence, with the prosecution alluding to the possibility that the complainant was in a domestic violence relationship.
The second incident involved the client’s mother.
The prosecution heavily relied on the complainant’s mother and father as the two apparent eyewitnesses to the first incident.
These witnesses had previously provided detailed police statements regarding their conversations with the complainant, as well as providing photographic evidence showing the injuries sustained during the incidents in question.
During the evidence-in-chief, the prosecution presented the statements of both the complainant’s mother and father, along with their statutory declaration, in which they had offered additional testimony. As Ms Kwan questioned them in cross-examination about the reasons behind their second statement, which seemingly contradicted their initial statements made to the police, this line of questioning led to doubts about the credibility of these witnesses.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Magistrate found for our client, the defendant, and dismissed both charges. In her judgment, the Magistrate expressed the difficulty in establishing the client’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard of proof that applies to all criminal proceedings.
Despite the prosecution’s intent to pursue an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO), her Honour expressed her view that there was insufficient evidence to justify such an order. With both the criminal charges and the civil AVO proceedings concluding in the defendant’s favour, with no orders or punishment possible, this was clearly an excellent result for the client, delivered by our advocate Ellyse. We also have several other members of our office capable of similarly fine-on-their-feet advocacy.
If you find yourself in need of an experienced criminal defence team to assist you in your court case, we recommend reaching out to Longton Legal on (02) 9267 5555. With a cumulative experience of over 50 years in all facets of criminal and traffic law, you can trust us to stand by your side and navigate this journey together.
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*
Special Counsel | Accredited Criminal Law Specialist NSW
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