Not Guilty Verdict for Nurse Accused of Assault in North Ryde

Daniel Shestowsky appeared on behalf of a 72-year-old client who was accused of assaulting a patient in her care while working as an Assistant In Nursing at a disability housing facility in North Ryde.

Alleged Assault of a Patient at Macquarie Hospital

Our client was a 72-year-old woman who had worked as an Assistant in Nursing at various facilities for over 50 years. She was an experienced staff member and had worked at this facility adjoined to Macquarie Hospital for over two years. Our client’s role included general care of the patients, showering them, feeding them, clothing them, and taking them on general outings.

Many of the patients our client worked with suffered from significant physical and mental disabilities, requiring 24-hour care.  Our client had been employed full-time in this role for several years and was a well trusted employee.

In July of 2020, our client was accused by another staff member of assaulting a patient by slapping him across the back of the head. This other staff member was the only witness to the alleged incident and reported the matter to two managers. Our client was called into a meeting whereby she denied the allegation; however, she was immediately suspended from her position with pay.

Our client was then provided a show cause letter as to why her employment should not be terminated. Our client provided a detailed outline of the events of the evening in question and once again denied the allegation. Despite her denials, the decision was made by her employer to terminate her employment.  The matter was also referred to NSW Police who proceeded to charge her with an offence of Common Assault.

Our client, having already had her employment terminated, now faced the prospect of a criminal conviction, a full-time jail sentence and further disciplinary proceedings through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Commission.

Hearing and Outcome at Burwood Local Court

Our client approached Australian Lawyers and Advocates to seek advice and legal representation. Our client was steadfast in her denials of the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mr Daniel Shestowsky carefully analysed the brief of evidence provided by the Police and prepared the matter for hearing.

The matter was heard at Burwood Local Court. Mr Shestowsky prepared a detailed and extensive cross-examination of the principal witness in the matter and was successfully able to highlight several inconsistencies within the evidence of that witness. After consideration of all the evidence, the Magistrate found that the charge could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt and our client was found not guilty of the offence.

Our client was a well-respected Assistant in Nursing for over 50 years and this matter could have had a severe impact on her reputation and future employment prospects. She denied the allegations since she was accused and ultimately was found not guilty of the allegations.

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.

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