Man Discharged on Mental Health Grounds at Burwood Local Court

Jack Leitner appeared on behalf of a 19 year old man who was accused of attempting to take two motorcycles and damaging a boom gate at a car park at Sydney Olympic Park.

Incident at Sydney Olympic Park

Around 6am on 18 July 2020, our client entered an underground car park at Sydney Olympic Park. There, he approached a black Harley Davidson motorcycle and made attempts to start the vehicle, dropping it several times in the process causing significant damage to it. Our client commenced pushing the motorbike, intending to take it despite its alarm being activated.

Shortly thereafter, our client approached a boom gate at the underground car park and pulled on it, causing it to dislodge before returning to the Harley Davidson motorcycle to take it. Our client was approached by a security guard who witnessed the incident on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV). Our client ran from the scene after being approached by the security guard who had contacted the Police.

Approximately 30 minutes later, our client was observed to be trying to take a motorised scooter and was arrested by the Police in the process of trying to do so.

Charges Listed at Burwood Local Court

Our client was charged with the following offences which were listed before Burwood Local Court.

  1. Intentionally or Recklessly Destroying/Damaging Property; Section 195(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), being the damage to the Harley Davidson motorcycle.
  • Intentionally or Recklessly Destroying/Damaging Property; Section 195(1) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), being the damage to the boom gate.
  • Take and Drive Conveyance Without Consent of Owner; Section 154A(1)(a) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), being the Harley Davidson motorcycle.
  • Take and Drive Conveyance Without Consent of Owner; Section 154A(1)(a) Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), being the motorised scooter.

The maximum penalty applicable for an offence of Intentionally or Recklessly Destroying/Damaging Property is one of 5 years imprisonment. An offence of Take and Drive Conveyance Without Consent of Owner carries with it the same penalties as an offence of Larceny pursuant to Section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), with a maximum 5 year sentence of imprisonment.

Hearing and Outcome at Burwood Local Court

Our client approached Australian Lawyers and Advocates just two days out from his hearing to seek advice and legal representation. Pleas of not guilty were previously entered to our client’s charges and our client had sought advice from numerous previous lawyers and was not happy with their advice and approach.

Mr. Leitner reviewed the evidence which was compelling in a number of respects. Apart from direct eyewitness accounts of our client attempting to take the motorised scooter when Police arrived and arrested him, our client’s conduct in attempting to take the Harley Davidson and causing damage to it and the boom gate was caught on CCTV. Our client also made certain admissions to the security officer as well as the Police. Pleas of guilty were negotiated with the Prosecutor whereby the two charges of Take and Drive Conveyance Without Consent of Owner were amended to charges of Attempt to Take and Drive Conveyance Without Consent of Owner to properly reflect our client’s conduct. Our client also entered pleas of guilty to the two charges of Intentionally or Recklessly Destroying/Damaging Property.

The Police originally sought compensation orders against our client for the damage he caused to the Harley Davidson motorcycle and boom gate in the amount of $5300.00. Mr. Leitner put the Police to proof in respect of the orders for compensation which resulted in the total amount of compensation payable by our being reduced to approximately $3000.00.

Mr. Leitner identified that our client suffered from long standing and serious mental health issues, which were present at the time our client committed his offences. Mr. Leitner pursued an application under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW) seeking that our client not be punished according to law, but instead to have his charges dismissed and our client discharged on condition that he comply with a treatment plan as set out by our client’s treating doctors. Mr. Leitner’s persuasive advocacy resulted in the Magistrate dismissing all charges against our client and discharging him on condition that he continue treatment with his medical team.

Despite being approached only two days out from our client’s hearing, Mr. Leitner’s meticulous preparation and persuasive advocacy resulted in our client avoiding criminal convictions and being sentenced according to law. Instead, our client was able to continue focusing on his mental health with the assistance of his medical team.

This case highlights the importance of engaging lawyers who are highly knowledgeable and experienced criminal law lawyers and advocates. To learn more about Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Diversions, feel free to peruse our blog piece 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.

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