Solicitor: Michael Purcell and Sinead Garland
Court: Southport Magistrates Court
Maximum Penalty: 7 years imprisonment
Our client was initially charged with 2 counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and choking in a domestic setting. The incident occurred following our client being physically confronted by his partner about an incident that had occurred earlier that day. As a result of the confrontation, our client retaliated and assaulted his partner. Our client had no previous criminal history prior to this incident.
Our client was charged with 2 counts of assault occasioning bodily harm on the basis that he had punched his partner several times in the arms and back and choking. Our client faced potential imprisonment for 7 years.
With regards to the choking charge, Mr Purcell successfully negotiated with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, to have the choking charge dropped as it would be very difficult for a jury (if it went to a trial) to find that each and every element of the choking charge could be satisfied.
As our client had been charged with an offence involving violence, Queensland law states that imprisonment is not a last resort. This applies even for people without any criminal history, as was the case for our client.
To prepare for his sentence, we encouraged our client to obtain character references and to attend the centracare domestic violence program and triple p parenting course. Our client also engaged in therapy sessions with a psychologist prior to his sentence.
The objective of these preparations steps was to indicate to the sentencing Judge that our client had taken proactive steps towards rehabilitation and that his efforts could provide comfort to the sentencing Judge that he would not appear again before the court for like offences.
At the sentence, we outlined our client’s mitigating circumstances to the court and submitted that our client’s offending was completely out of character. We urged the court that if a term of imprisonment was to be imposed for his offending, that the term of imprisonment be wholly suspended. We also conceded that a term of imprisonment between 6 and 12 months was within range.
The sentencing Judge accepted our submissions and sentenced our client to 9 months imprisonment wholly suspended for an operational period of 12 months. This means that if our client commits an offence punishable by imprisonment, during the operational period (12 months), he may be required to serve the suspended prison term in jail. A conviction was also recorded for each offence.
This matter reveals how necessary it is for a person facing serious charges to obtain expert guidance from an experienced criminal lawyer.
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.