In a recent case our client was charged with two offences of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. The charges related to a brawl in a shopping centre between owners of different stores within the shopping centre. There were numerous parties involved, including a co-accused and multiple complainants. The police alleged that our client was a principal offender for each of the charges, and our client was at risk of a term of imprisonment. Part-way through the proceedings, the co-accused pleaded guilty to both charges and received a suspended term of imprisonment.
We obtained an order for disclosure and reviewed all of the police evidence. It was clear that for one of the charges, there was no evidence implicating our client. For another, there was obvious evidence of self-defence and issues of whether the client was a party to the assault by the co-accused, or had only been involved in a common assault upon the complainant.
We presented a detailed submission to the prosecution. After careful consideration, the prosecution agreed to drop one of the charges, and downgrade the other charge to a common assault charge.
At sentencing, we presented a detailed plea in mitigation. Our client was sentenced to a relatively small fine of $700 for the remaining common assault offence. This reflected the fact that the client was largely involved in defending themselves, albeit took it too far in this instance.
This fantastic result meant that our client did not have the threat of a jail sentence hanging over their head, nor such a serious outcome on their criminal history which could impact future travel and job opportunities.