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CASE SUMMARY – SERIOUS ASSAULT PERSON OVER 60 (ROAD RAGE INCIDENT)

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law & Offences  > CASE SUMMARY – SERIOUS ASSAULT PERSON OVER 60 (ROAD RAGE INCIDENT)

CASE SUMMARY – SERIOUS ASSAULT PERSON OVER 60 (ROAD RAGE INCIDENT)

OFFENCES:               Serious assault person over 60

SOLICITOR:              Erin Mitchell

COURT:                      Southport Magistrates Court

DATE:                         April 2023

TRIAL/ PLEA:           Plea of guilty

 

FACTS:

Our client found themselves involved in a road rage incident and unfortunately due to a ‘heat of the moment’ decision, they were ultimately charged with assaulting a person over 60, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.[1]

Due to the serious nature of the charge, namely, that it involved an act of violence/ causing physical harm to another person, a sentence of imprisonment is not a last resort[2], even for a person with limited or no criminal history.

By way of background, our client’s instructions were that they were travelling down a single lane road on the Gold Coast, when they were aggressively tailgated by the vehicle behind. They recalled the vehicle was swerving erratically left to right behind them and made attempts to push our client out of the lane, before crossing double white lines onto the wrong side of the road, to overtake our client shortly before a bridge. Our client was aggravated by the driver’s erratic and dangerous manner of driving and responded by overtaking the driver and stopping their vehicle. The driver of the vehicle then got out of the car and approached our client.

Our client responded in the heat of the moment by punching the driver with a closed fist in the face once, causing bodily harm (bruising, swelling and bleeding to the eye area and a displaced fracture of the nasal bone and nasal septum).

 

COURT PROCESS:

Our client entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced in the Southport Magistrates Court.

In preparation for the sentence, our client completed an anger management course and obtained supportive character references, demonstrating that this behaviour was entirely out of character.

In further mitigation, our client had one minor, dated and irrelevant entry on his criminal history, with no convictions recorded. Our client was a young adult with strong family ties, an impressive work history and current full-time employment. Our client also indicated that he would be willing to pay compensation to the complainant for the injuries sustained.

The Prosecution tendered a victim impact statement, medical statement and photos of the complainant’s injuries.

The above matters were detailed to the presiding Magistrate at the sentence and in the circumstances, Potts Lawyers submitted that a community service order with no conviction recorded was the appropriate penalty. It was also submitted that whilst the client’s actions were indeed disproportionate and not justified, this was not a case of unprovoked gratuitous violence, due to the complainant’s conduct in the lead up to the offending.

Our client received 100 hours of community service and no conviction was recorded on their criminal history. An order was made for $1,000 compensation to be paid to the complainant.

[1] Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) s 340 (1)(g).

[2] Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) s 9 (2A).

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