Author: Phillip Gibson
Downing Centre Local Court, Sydney
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson, Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
The client had a history of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as emotional problems. The client proceeded to go on a ‘bender’ consuming alcohol in the Sydney CBD until early on a Monday morning, before being ejected from the bar he was at due to his behaviour. The client subsequently attempted to provoke a fight with hotel security.
The client proceeded to attempt to run away from the hotel and in doing so came across an area which had been sectioned off by Police as a crime scene in an unrelated matter. The client ran into the crime scene, and crash tackled one of the Police officers in the area. The officer involved suffered serious spinal injuries as a result, and was unable to return to active duties owing to these injuries. The client was charged with, and pleaded guilty to Assault Police Officer in Execution of Duty.
The matter came before the Downing Centre Local Court. Given the nature of the injuries caused to the police officer in question, the Magistrate hearing the matter determined that the case was serious enough to warrant the imposition of a custodial penalty. Submissions were then made, with the assistance of a detailed psychiatric report, that underlying mental health issues were the root cause of the offending, and that there were strong prospects of rehabilitation for the client, if continuing psychiatric intervention and rehabilitation in terms of substance abuse issues was pursued.
Notwithstanding the serious injuries caused to the officer, the Magistrate concluded that the subjective circumstances of the offender justified the suspension of that sentence, conditional upon the offender entering into a bond under section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, and continuing to seek the assistance of a psychiatrist.