Author: Dennis MiralisCriminal Defence Lawyer Dennis Miralis at our Sydney Office

The Facts:

The client was in a dysfunctional relationship with a woman. Both were prone to binge drinking and lived on the north coast of NSW in a coastal town. After breaking up, the alleged victim moved to another town on the mid-north coast. They remained in contact from time to time by telephone and sometimes when they caught up they would have sex.

One day, the accused went to visit the woman. They had an argument about money that the woman owed him. She threatened to ring the police. The accused had a criminal record and did not want to face any police charges, so he left. She told police that the accused turned up at her place in a rage, forced entry to the premises, sexually assaulted her, refused to let her leave the premises, damaged some of her property and then drove off.

When police caught up with him, the accused was charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault; Break and Enter with Intent to Commit Indictable Offence and Detain for Advantage. He was bail refused. The client admitted damaging her phone and provided instructions that they engaged in consensual sex, before travelling together into town where they went to a hotel and drank beer before he dropped her home and left the area.

Given his criminal record and the nature of the offences alleged, the accused was refused bail. He gave instructions to get the matter to trial as soon as possible. The brief of evidence contained DNA analysis which confirmed sexual activity. A sexual assault doctor’s expert report could not confirm whether the sexual activity was consensual or not. There was no evidence of bruising, marks, scratches, or other potential tell-tale signs of forced sex.

The Result:

Given our client’s instructions, we travelled to the coastal town to work out whether any CCTV footage might be available of the couple to corroborate his version. We issued a subpoena upon the hotel to produce CCTV footage which clearly showed the couple enjoying a beer, with both persons in good spirits and obviously enjoying their company together. The time of the recording was after the time that the woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted, suggesting that the claim of sexual assault was fabricated. If she had been raped and detained against her will, why would she be having beers with him afterwards at the hotel? We also obtained telephone records to confirm when the two person had phone contact. It proved conclusively that the woman was a blatant liar.

We approached the Crown Trial Advocate with our footage and the sexual assault and detain for advantage matters were withdrawn upon a plea of guilty being entered to the charge of maliciously damaging her mobile phone. He was immediately released from custody.