Author: Dennis Miralis
Sydney District Court
Police claimed to have seen a car parked in an industrial area. Half an hour later police misused “random breath testing (RBT)” powers as an excuse to talk to the occupants. They demanded identification from all occupants of the car without the power to do so. They searched the car and the occupants without lawful power and without reasonable suspicion or reasonable cause to do so.
Evidence of drugs being located was rejected by the Judge who was scathing of the abuse of power by police – some deliberate and some in ignorance of the law. Illegally obtained evidence can be ruled inadmissible at the discretion of the court. Multiple deliberate breaches of the law by police are something that should not be tolerated.
Aside from the police illegalities, the client had a valid defence, however it was not necessary for the client to give evidence. A costs application was then made pursuant to Section 3 of the Costs in Criminal Cases Act and the client’s costs were ordered to be paid by the Director of Public Prosecutions office.