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Case Study: Criminal Damage

Updated: May 8

Date & location

January 2021, Burnside.


Sunshine Magistrates' Court


The offences in a setting where our client had been under considerable stress in his employment as a Warehouse Manager. After working long hours brought on by the pandemic, he found it difficult to decompress when he came home from work. In addition, in the period preceding the offence, he became aware that his father was battling severe illness, and that his passing was imminent.

·On the day of the offence our client had returned from work, and an argument in the kitchen developed between himself and his wife over several topics. When interviewed about the incident, our client told police that as the argument became more heated, abuse was traded between them both.

The argument culminated in our client damaging jointly owned property. The police were called, and our client made full admissions.

Initially the police applied for and obtained a Family Violence Intervention Order, however this was subsequently reduced to a limited Order.

He was also charged with criminal damage.

How case resolved

Case conference discussions occurred prior to the mention of the case. A submission was made to the prosecution that diversion be considered having regard to our client's lack of criminal history and his genuine remorse for his actions. Diversion is an opportunity for first-time offenders to avoid a criminal history, and so it was pleasing that although the offence was characterized as family violence it was still recommended for diversion.

Sentencing outcome

As a result of our submissions to the Court, our client was placed on a Diversion Plan with conditions to donate to the Magistrates' Court fund and to be of good behaviour for 12 months.

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