Our 35 year old client was found not guilty after a defended hearing involving a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The charge also accompanies an apprehended domestic violence order. The alleged victim who made the complaint to police was his wife who also share custody arrangements with their two young children.
Our client was an IT consultant who was subject to criminal background checks and in a job where a non conviction was essential to maintain the position he was working in. He also had more to loose from family court proceedings in respect to the custody arrangements of children if he were to be convicted.
The wife made a complaint to police 1 day after the allegation arose. She alleged that our client punched her forearm numerous times, and then squeezed her hand, whilst both were on opposite sides of the back seats buckling their children.
When he saw one of our senior criminal lawyers in our Parramatta office, the following important factors struck out to help form a strong defence case:
- The wife had bruise marks on her hand and forearm, yet in her initial police complaint, she was unable to give details of the physicality of how he assaulted her in the car. She was unable to remember which hand he used.
- There was some delay in going to police to make the complaint.
- 4 days earlier, she was found guilty with a final AVO against her where our client was the victim of an assault by her. This suggests she had motive to make this allegation up.
- A few months earlier, she had sent him a text message blackmailing him to drop the previous assault charges against her if he wanted to continue seeing their children. This created further motive.
- Our client had no prior convictions of violence, raising his good character
- There was an expert report from a Forensic Nurse expressing an opinion that her account of the complain is consistent with the bruising on her hand and arm. This was successfully objected to by our senior lawyer. It was objected to on the basis that it didn’t express an expert opinion, rather, it expressed something a Magistrate can make findings on.
The wife (alleged victim), gave evidence and was extensively cross examined by our senior lawyers. This revealed her aggressive demeanour, and the real reason she made up those allegation, namely, to get revenge for her being found guilty in court earlier, and to get an advantage in family law proceedings about custody of children.
In concluding that our client was not guilty, the Magistrate was unable to be satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the wife’s complaint was true. The charges were dismissed and our client was will not be effected adversely in family court matters later on. He was also able to maintain his job to help him support his mortgage and other daily expenses.
It’s critical to get a highly experienced senior criminal lawyer to advise, prepare and appear in assault cases. This can ensure you maximise your chances at getting the best possible outcome in court.