In this case the firm acted for a client charged with four counts of indecent assault. The charges involved serious allegations of the client indecently slapping the victim repeatedly over the course of numerous incidents. The client worked full-time on a fly-in, fly-out basis and had never been charged or convicted of a criminal offence. On receipt of the materials, it was apparent that the complainant’s account of some of the incidents was not supported by the account of one of the alleged eye-witnesses. Further, the client had participated in an electronic record of interview in which only a single incident was admitted, on a significantly different factual basis to that alleged by the police.
We entered into negotiations with the prosecution, which were ultimately successful. We managed to secure agreement to drop three of the charges in exchange for a guilty plea to one of the charges. We engaged in extensive preparations for the sentencing, obtaining a large number of character references that were provided to the Magistrate, as well as proof of the client’s ongoing employment and the detriment they would suffer if a spent conviction order was not imposed.
At sentencing, despite initially strong opposition from the Magistrate, we were able to persuade the court to impose a spent conviction order for the offence. This was an extraordinary outcome for an offence of this sort. The outcome meant that the client was able to resume their lengthy and unblemished career in mining without the impediment of a conviction harming their current and future job prospects.