Author: Phillip Gibson
Sydney District Court
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson, Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
The client had been involved in a domestic altercation with his partner, during which his partner sustained injuries to her facial region, amounting to actual bodily harm. The client was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and when the matter came before a Magistrate in the Local Court, the client was convicted of this offence and was placed on a bond pursuant to section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The client appealed against the severity of this penalty, and the matter proceeded to the Sydney District Court for hearing of the appeal.
On appeal it was submitted that the objective criminality involved in this case was low, given the difficult life circumstances which the client had experienced during his formative years, including sexual abuse, resulting in the use of illicit substances as a way of coping. It was submitted that there was a nexus between his unfortunate upbringing and the offence in question, which was supported by evidence contained in a detailed psychological report.
The client had committed to ongoing counselling with a psychologist, and it was thus submitted that as he had excellent prospects of rehabilitation, that an expedient avenue for the Court to follow was to overturn the conviction for the assault, and for the client to instead be placed on a bond under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
The Judge hearing the appeal agreed with this proposal, and as a result, the client had his assault conviction overturned. The client thus avoided the prospect of having a conviction for a personal violence offence recorded against him, avoiding the serious consequences that this can have in later life in the areas of employment and travel.