Not Guilty: Client acquitted of multiple historical sexual offence allegations

Our firm was involved in a long-running matter where the client was charged with multiple sexual offences alleged to have occurred many years prior. The client came to us having transferred from another firm. We represented the client at their first trial in the Bunbury District Court. Unfortunately, part-way through the complainant’s evidence, important new evidence was adduced by the prosecution which had not been disclosed to the defence. James Jackson was successful in applying to abort that trial on the basis of material non-disclosure by the prosecution.

After the trial, it was made apparent to us that several of the jurors knew the accused personally. This had not been disclosed by the respective jurors. James Jackson was successful in applying to have the client’s matter re-listed in Busselton District Court, to avoid the risk of jurors who personally knew the accused being allowed to determine their guilt or innocence.

At the second trial, James engaged in extensive preparations with the client, and was able to obtain numerous documentary exhibits which would ultimately be used to undermine the complainant’s credibility. James cross-examined the complainant over two days of court time. During this damaging and thorough cross-examination, the complainant’s credibility was seriously undermined. Unfortunately, towards the end of the cross-examination, the complainant again gave evidence of irrelevant and prejudicial material. James, again, was successful in applying to abort the trial. Fortunately, the cross-examination of the complainant had been recorded and was able to be used again.

The matter was listed for a third and final trial in the same court. Due to availability issues, the firm was unable to continue with the third trial. However, at the third trial, James’ recorded cross-examination of the complainant was played to the jury. After being acquitted, the client phoned us to personally thank the firm for our work in destroying the complainant’s credibility, which was instrumental in achieving an acquittal. This fantastic outcome means that after many years and three separate trials, the client’s name has finally been cleared.

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