Jack Leitner appeared on behalf of 44 year old man at Parramatta Local Court for a domestic violence assault charge, whereby he was accused of assaulting his 14 year old daughter, resulting in actual bodily harm being caused to her.
Incident at Guildford
On 16 June 2021 our client was alleged to have been involved in an argument with his 14 year old daughter regarding mobile phone use, particularly in liaising with older boys. There were suggestions that inappropriate images had been shared between our client’s daughter and unknown older males causing our client significant concerns. During this argument, our client was alleged to have wrestled his daughter’s phone from her. Later that day, our client was alleged to have armed himself with a small cricket bat and used it to hit the complainant several times all over her body, causing bruising and red marks. The complainant left the house only for our client to allegedly follow her. When he caught up to her, our client was alleged to have pulled the complainant by the hair and then punch his daughter to her face, causing redness and bruising. Once back at the home, the complainant alleged that our client then continued hitting her with a small cricket bat. The complainant made a complaint to the Police later that day.
Charge at Parramatta Local Court
Our client was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (Domestic Violence Related) pursuant to section 59 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). He was also served with an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. Our client was prohibited from returning to the family home pursuant to his bail conditions, and later his Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. Despite protestations from his family, the Police refused to amend our client’s bail and Apprehended Domestic Violence Order conditions, thereby excluding him from the family home.
The maximum penalty for an offence of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm is 5 years imprisonment.
Hearing at Parramatta Local Court
Our client had previously engaged another firm. After he was prohibited from returning home, and after expressing his dissatisfaction regarding his former lawyers’ handling of his case, our client approached Jack Leitner of Australian Lawyers and Advocates. Mr. Leitner perused the brief of evidence and made overtures to the Police regarding our client’s bail and Apprehended Domestic Violence Order. In preparation for hearing, Mr. Leitner carefully examined all aspects of the case and found that the complainant’s account was inconsistent in numerous ways. The complainant provided a further statement to the Police sometime later which added further inconsistencies and concerns as to her credibility.
Mr. Leitner liaised with the Police Prosecutor. It was apparent that the Prosecutor had not turned their mind to Section 18 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) which permitted our client’s daughter to object to giving evidence against her father if she wished. The Prosecutor was also reminded of large number of significant inconsistencies in the complainant’s accounts to Police and that even if the court were to compel the complainant to give evidence over objection, the Prosecutor would inevitably be placed in a situation where they would need to cross-examine their own witness, a 14 year old child as an unfavourable witness pursuant to section 38 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW).
The overall lack of strength of the prosecution case, as a result of issues of credibility and the potential objection to give evidence resulted in Mr. Leitner successfully persuading the Prosecutor to withdraw the charge against our client.
Our client was very relieved to have had a serious charge withdrawn against him in circumstances where a conviction for this offence would have had significant implications on his employment. Further, our client was able to re-unite with his family, much to their relief.
This case highlights the importance of engaging lawyers who are highly knowledgeable and experienced criminal law lawyers and advocates. To learn more about domestic violence matters, feel free to peruse our blog on this subject. Our reputation and results speak for themselves and this case is another example of our ability to obtain the best outcomes for our clients.