Stealing charge dropped; spent convictions imposed for burglary & move-on order offences

The police had charged our client with offences of breach move-on order, burglary and stealing. The offences concerned two separate incidents about a month apart, and the client had no criminal record. The client’s goal was either a full acquittal or failing that, a spent conviction order, to enable the client to continue with their chosen career without the impediment of a conviction. We advised the client to obtain the full disclosure evidence in order to have a better appreciation of how to defend each separate matter.

On review of the evidence concerning the move-on order, it was plain the client had no defence and we advised the client accordingly. A relatively early guilty plea was entered to that charge.

The burglary charge, on the facts pleaded by the police, was serious. It allegedly occurred in company at night-time and involved valuable property being stolen from the premises. However, the evidence failed to prove what the police stated in the statement of material facts. In particular, at best the police would struggle to prove theft an almost worthless piece of property from within the premises. Further, it was questionable whether that could even be proved as it was unclear whether the item was stolen during the burglary, or at some other unknown time. In addition, the identification evidence was not particularly strong.

Prior to trial, we negotiated a favorable outcome with the prosecution. This included discontinuing the stealing charge, and amending the burglary to a ‘burglary with intent’, without any allegation of being in company. The facts were also amended in a way that benefited the client.

At sentencing, we presented a detailed plea in mitigation which argued for a fine and a spent conviction order to be imposed notwithstanding the seriousness of the burglary offence, and the fact the offending occurred on multiple occasions. Our submissions were accepted by the Magistrate and the client received a fine and spent conviction order. This fantastic outcome meant the client’s future employment prospects maintained intact despite this unfortunate series of events.

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