Solicitor: Jack Bendall
Court: Beenleigh Magistrates Court
Date: May 2022
Our client was charged with contravening a Temporary Protection Order (TPO). Our client was named as the respondent to the order, and his ex partner as the aggrieved.
Our client and the aggrieved were embroiled in ongoing family law proceedings.
Our client was prohibited from contacting, or attempting to contact, or asking someone else to contact the aggrieved by any means whatsoever, subject to the following exceptions:
It was alleged that our client emailed the aggrieved whilst the TPO was in place and was subsequently charged by the police. Our client made full admissions to sending the email at the time he was charged.
Submissions at court
The prosecution informed the court of the facts.
Mr Bendall then made detailed submissions on our client’s behalf, noting relevant mitigating factors, including:-
Mr Bendall noted that all domestic violence offences are serious, however this was a circumstance in which no physical harm was done, or threatened, and that this was a one off exchange. Further, that our client’s offending had arisen out of frustration following the breakdown of his relationship with the aggrieved, and that his conduct was a momentary but significant lapse of judgement. It was also an error in judgement, in that a parenting plan was the subject of ongoing family law proceedings, providing our client with the view that he was in fact allowed to contact the aggrieved in respect of this plan. Although this explanation was not a defence to the charge, it provided meaningful context as to why our client had committed the offence.
Mr Bendall ultimately submitted that a good behaviour bond was the appropriate penalty in the circumstances.
The court’s decision
The Court ultimately accepted Mr Bendall’s submission and imposed the following orders on our client:-
This was an exceptional result in the circumstances.
An email sounds innocuous, what’s the big deal?
All forms of domestic violence are taken incredibly seriously by the police and the courts in Queensland, regardless of the type of allegation or how trivial it may seem.
One of the main objects of our legislation governing domestic violence is to impose consequences for contravening any domestic violence order. Any contravention of a domestic violence order (which includes TPO’s) are criminal offences and are punishable by imprisonment.
Like every sentence, context is critical. It is important that if a person is being sentenced for contravention of a domestic order, regardless of the allegation, that they obtain lawyers who are aware of their situation and can put forward concise, persuasive submissions to the court. This ensures that the sentencing court receives all of the information, not just the facts presented by the prosecution and can deliver an appropriate sentence having regard to both aggravating and mitigating factors.
If you are charged with contravention of a domestic violence order, and you are considering pleading guilty to the charge, it is important for you to know the potential repercussions following conviction and the submissions we can make on your behalf.
If this is you, call our team today.
This is a summary of an actual case. Details have been omitted to protect the privacy of our client. We select cases which are informative and no guarantee is provided that similar results are achievable in all cases. Every case is different and you should obtain legal advice specific to your matter and circumstances.