Our client 53 year old woman from Merrylands was charged by the police with assault occasioning actual bodily harm under s59(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). This charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment.
The police alleged that she got into a physical scuffle with the alleged victim after grabbing the alleged victim’s shirt causing scratches and bruises.
Our client admitted to holding the alleged victim by her shirt, but denied causing the scratches and bruising. She told the police that she grabbed the alleged victim’s shirt in self defence to protect her son during a hostile dispute with the neighbour.
The presence of injuries and an absence of explanation for it slightly strengthened the police case.
Our client initially pleaded not guilty, and on the morning of the defended hearing, at the Penrith Local Court, our senior lawyer Fahim Khan and Tayla Regan commenced negotiations with the prosecution and police.
As a result of tactful ongoing negotiations by our team of lawyers, the prosecutor agreed to withdraw the more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and downgraded it to a less serious charge of common assault on the basis of a plea of guilty to the common assault. This was accepted, and the references to scratches and bruising were also deleted.
Common assault has a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment. Our senior lawyer also convinced the prosecutor to change other parts of the facts, painting a much better picture for our client- that the extent of her offence for common assault was holding the victim’s clothing for a few seconds more than necessary.
Our senior lawyer then made compelling submissions to the court on behalf of our client. Those submissions outlined our client’s strong points, her side of what happened.
As a result, the Magistrate agreed with our lawyers request not to impose a criminal conviction on our client. The court then sentenced our client pursuant to s10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act NSW. This included a good behaviour bond for 12 months.
Our client was extremely pleased with this outcome because it allowed her to maintain her good character without a conviction against her name, and finalise her case expeditiously without the hassle of giving evidence in a defended hearing.