Author: Phillip Gibson
Sutherland Local Court
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
Case Facts –
The client had been charged with 6 offences of larceny, involving the theft of expensive items of jewelry from jewelry stores around Sydney. The total of this theft was in excess of $65,000.00, all of the offences committed whilst the client was on a good behaviour bond for shoplifting. After being arrested, the client was charged with the additional offences of Knowingly Be Carried in Stolen Conveyance and Possess Prohibited Drug. He was refused bail by the Local Court, and by the Supreme Court.
The client entered pleas of guilty to the majority of the larceny offences, however, maintained a plea of not guilty in relation to one larceny offence, and the offence of Knowingly be Carried in a Stolen Conveyance. The matter proceeded to Sutherland Local Court for a defended hearing in relation to those 2 charges, after which the matter was to proceed to sentence in respect of the charges for which the client had previously pleaded guilty to.
Case Result –
In respect of the 2 offences which proceeded to hearing, it was submitted that the prosecution had not proven the case in respect of either charge.
In respect of one larceny offence, the prosecution relied on an assertion of joint criminal enterprise, a principle for which the prosecution had to prove in order to make out a prima facie case of guilt. The prosecution could not prove this, and accordingly the client was acquitted.
In respect of the offence of being carried in a stolen conveyance, it was submitted that the Prosecution had not been able to establish that the client had any knowledge that the vehicle was a stolen vehicle, and again it was decided by the Magistrate that the Prosecution had not established a prima facie case of guilt. The client was therefore acquitted of both charges and the matter proceeded to sentence in relation to the outstanding charges. The objective seriousness of the outstanding charges was to a high order, given the value of the goods which were stolen, and the fact that the client was on a good behaviour bond for a similar offence at the time of the commission of all offences.
With the assistance of a psychological report, it was submitted that the objective circumstances of the offences, and the subjective circumstances of the offender necessitated the imposition of custodial penalty. However, it was submitted on behalf of the client that the penalties should be suspended. This submission was accepted by the Magistrate, in respect of all offences, and the client was given the benefit of suspended sentences. In relation to the good behaviour bond which had been breached by the commission of these offences, it was submitted that the penalties for the other offences justified the bond not being revoked, and the Magistrate accepted this submission.
As a consequence of the Court proceeding to deal with the matter in this manner, the client was released from custody after serving 4 months in prison