Client Receives Non-Conviction for Affray after Incident at Mt Druitt

Daniel Shestowsky appeared at Mt Druitt Local Court on behalf of an 18-year-old client who pleaded guilty to Affray after an incident at a shopping centre in Mt Druitt. Our client ultimately received a non-conviction for the offence and was able to avoid a criminal conviction and the stigma that comes with that as he begins his adult life in the workforce.

What is Affray in NSW?

The offence of Affray set out in Section 93C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). It states that:

  1. A person who uses or threatens unlawful violence towards another and whose conduct is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness at the scene to fear for his or her personal safety is guilty of affray and liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
  2. If two or more persons use or threaten the unlawful violence, it is the conduct of them taken together that must be considered for the purposes of subsection (1).
  3. For the purposes of this section, a threat cannot be made by the use of words alone.
  4. No person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the scene.
  5. Affray may be committed in private as well as in public places.

A possible defence to a charge of Affray is self-defence which you can find in more detail in our Self-Defence blog.

The Incident in Mt Druitt

Our client was an 18 year old man still currently in school and about to finish year 12. He was congregating outside a shopping centre with a few friends when two persons known to them are said to have walked past. One of our client’s friends had been in a previous incident with one of these two persons and a verbal altercation took place. What originally was a verbal confrontation escalated, with two of our client’s friends engaging in a violent physical altercation with the other persons. Our client was observed on CCTV footage to run in and around the group during the melee, repeatedly attempting to hit the other persons during the brawl.

Ultimately the two young persons fled the scene and once inside the shopping centre, dialled triple zero and the Police attended.

Sentence and Outcome at Mt Druitt Local Court

Our client was ultimately identified through CCTV footage and charged with the offence of Affray. Having engaged Australian Lawyers and Advocates to seek legal advice and representation, Daniel Shestowsky analysed the police facts as well as the charge in order to assess our client’s case. Ultimately given the strength of the prosecution case and our client’s own admissions, he ultimately entered a plea of guilty and his matter was set down for sentence.

Our client faced the very real prospect of a criminal conviction and potentially more serious punishment given the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for a charge of Affray. Our client was also on bail at the time of committing this offence for an unrelated Robbery in Company offence, which was a significant aggravating factor in the sentence proceedings. Mr Shestowsky prepared a thorough case for our client’s sentencing proceeding emphasising his immaturity, his remorse and contrition and the steps he had taken since his offending behaviour to remove any negative influences from his life. Ultimately, with the help of Mr Shestowsky’s forceful and eloquent submissions, whilst the Magistrate found the offence proved, the charge of affray against our client was dismissed and he was ordered to enter into a Conditional Release Order for 18 months without a criminal conviction being recorded against him.

This case highlights the importance of engaging lawyers who are highly knowledgeable and experienced criminal law lawyers and advocates. Our reputation and results speak for themselves and this case is another example of our ability to obtain the best outcomes for our clients. If you, or someone you know has been charged with Affray and requires legal advice, do not hesitate to contact Australian Lawyers and Advocates to discuss this, or any criminal law matters further.

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