Solicitor: Danielle Warren
Court: Southport Magistrates Court
Our client was charged with assaulting a security guard outside of a Surfers Paradise nightclub. The incident occurred after our client and his friend were evicted from the nightclub. During the eviction, there was a physical confrontation between the complainant security guard and our client’s friend. Our client then threw a haymaker style punch at the complainant’s head, which fractured his nose.
The incident was captured on Gold Coast City Council CCTV, which was played to the sentencing court.
Queensland law states that, for offences involving violence, imprisonment is not a last resort. This applies even for people without any criminal history, as was the case for our client. Given that our client is a New Zealand citizen, it was extremely important that he was not sentenced to imprisonment for longer than 12 months. This would activate a section in the Migration Act mandating the cancellation of his visa which allowed him to live in Australia. (If you are not an Australian citizen, see the effects that convictions can have on your Australian Visa here).
To prepare for his sentence, we encouraged our client to obtain character references and to attend an anger management course. He also wrote a letter of apology to the complainant and offered a sum of money by way of compensation for the injuries the complainant received.
At the sentence, we outlined our client’s mitigating circumstances to the court and submitted that his offending was out of character. We urged the court to impose a fine and to exercise their discretion to not record a conviction.
Our client received a $1,000.00 fine at his sentence and an order to pay a further sum of $1,000.00 compensation to the complainant. No conviction was recorded on his criminal history.
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.