Charges and maximum penalty:
1 count of common assault under section 335 Criminal Code (3 years imprisonment )
4 counts of serious assault under section 340(2AA)(a)(i) Criminal Code (14 years imprisonment)
Court: Magistrates Court
Date: April 2021
Solicitor: Bill Potts and Sinead Garland
Our client attended a Melbourne Cup function in Brisbane. At that time, covid-19 restrictions were in place which prevented patrons from dancing at venues. Following the consumption of alcohol, our client began dancing and was asked to leave because he did not comply with the restrictions and because of his alcohol consumption. When our client was asked to leave, our client became argumentative and abusive towards security staff and the security officers began to usher our client towards the elevator to exit the building.
While our client was standing in the elevator with security, our client lent around his girlfriend and spat at one of the security officers in the face (count 1). Our client then spat again, this time his saliva landed on the security officer’s shoulder (count 2). Our client was then restrained by security in the elevator and at that time one of the security officers used the palm of his hand and palmed our client in the face. As a result, our client sustained a cut to his lip. In response to being restrained, our client spat at a security officer which landed on the side of the security officers face (count 3) and spat at another security officer, which landed on the security officer’s neck and ear (count 4).
When the elevator arrived on the ground floor, the security officers released our client and directed him out of the lifts and lead him towards the exit. As our client was walking towards the exit, he attempted to pull and drag at one of the security officers. Consequently, our client was transitioned to the ground by one of the security officers and while he was on the ground, spat at the security officer. The security said that when our client spat at him, our client’s saliva landed in the back of his throat and he could taste blood in his mouth (Count 5).
With regards to the serious assault charges, our client was originally charged under section 340(2AA)(a)(i) Criminal Code. This meant that our client was charged under the circumstances of aggravation provisions which stated that our client assaulted a Public Officer by spitting on them. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment.
Our office sent detailed submissions to the Prosecution seeking that the charge of serious assault under s340(2AA)(a)(i) Criminal Code be downgraded to the lessor charge under s340(1)(c) Criminal Code (where the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment (lessor charge)) in circumstances where the security officer can not be described as a Public Officer under an Act (in short). Following lengthy negotiations with the prosecution, the prosecution accepted our submission and agreed to downgrade the charge to the lessor charge if our client agreed to pay compensation to the security officers for his offending (which our client accepted).
At sentence, the Prosecution made submissions that having regard to the seriousness of the offending, a term of imprisonment wholly suspended was within range.
Our firm (Mr Bill Potts instructed by Ms Garland) then made lengthy submissions on our client’s behalf which indicated that having regard to the significant steps our client took towards rehabilitation, a community service order coupled with no conviction being recorded was within range.
The Magistrate ultimately accepted our office’s submission and sentenced our client to 120 hours of community service, to pay compensation in the sum of $4,000.00 towards the victims and ordered that no conviction be recorded against our client.
This is an excellent result.
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.