Case study: Diversion for Wilful Damage

Date & location of offence


April 2021, Frankston.


Court


Frankston Magistrates' Court, November 2021


Facts


After calling the police several times to complain about the noise emanating from our client's home, and the concern that his young children would be woken up, our client took matters into his own hands and attended upon his neighbour to complain about the noise. He attempted to get her attention by forcefully knocking on her door for over 10 minutes.


The complainant also called the police upon finding that her door had been damaged.


Our client was subsequently interviewed by police, and our client gave a full interview and made admissions.


He was later charged with criminal damage with the alternative offence of wilful damage.


How case resolved


It was evident that the indictable charge of criminal damage was not appropriate given the quote to repair the front door was only $200. Case conference discussions conducted with the prosecution resulted in a withdrawal of the criminal damage offence.


Further submissions were also made to the prosecution that it was appropriate in all the circumstances (no criminal history, and cooperation with police) to refer our client for diversion. The prosecution agreed and the matter was referred for a diversion assessment by the Court.


Written submissions provided to the Court in support of the diversion application focussed on the extenuating circumstances of the offence, and that the offending was out of character given our client's lack of criminal history. His excellent employment history was also highlighted. It was also compelling that our client had a history of community involvement, and several testimonials evidencing his good character were provided to the Court.


The Court was persuaded to grant our client a diversion, and the only conditions of the diversion plan were to pay the repair bill for the door and to be of good behaviour for 3 months.





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