In this recent case our client was charged with three offences of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm. The charges related to alleged instances of assault occurring between the client and their child on three separate occasions. Unfortunately, there were repeated instances where the parent was required to discipline the child and the allegations had arose in the context of such discipline.
On receipt of the materials James took detailed instructions from the client. It was apparent that the evidence in support of two of the allegations was weak. Further, there was a real question as to whether the prosecution could negative the defence of lawful parental discipline in the criminal code. This defence permits a parent to use, by way of correction, such force towards a child as is reasonable under the circumstances.
James presented a detailed plea offer submission to the prosecution, offering a guilty plea to the third and final charge if the first two charges were discontinued. The prosecution agreed with the plea offer. At sentencing, an extensive plea in mitigation was presented, along with numerous materials in support of a spent conviction order. The Magistrate was persuaded to impose a spent conviction order notwithstanding the seriousness of the offence. The penalty imposed was a community based order.
This was an excellent result for the client and we were happy with the outcome achieved in this matter.