Case Study: Fail to Comply with Direction
Updated: Sep 19
Table of Contents
Possess a drug of dependence namely methylamphetamine;
Resist emergency worker on duty;
Fail to comply with a direction given by the Chief Health Officer; and
Commit an indictable offence whilst on bail.
Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court – September 2023.
Summary of Facts
On 16 March 2020, the Minister for Health, declared a state of emergency for Victoria due to the Covid-19 Pandemic as per Section 198 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (The Act).
This state of emergency was effective immediately and authorised the Chief Health Officer to exercise certain powers as per Section 199 of the Act.
On 26 August 2021, the Chief Health Officer gave direction number seven (7) as per Section 200 of the Act. This included the “Stay at Home Direction”.
Our client was located on the Westgate Bridge in South Wharf during one of the many Covid-19 protests. He was intercepted by Police and demands were made for his name and address. It was alleged by police that he refused to provide these details. .
As a result, Police attempted to arrest him but he allegedly resisted arrest causing Police to utilise their pepper spray on him.
Following the arrest, our client was allegedly found in possession of a small quantity of
Furthermore, our client was alleged to have failed to comply with the direction of gathering in a group of more than five people and was not within ten (10) kilometres of his place of residence.
What Happened at Court?
Our office held case conference discussions with the Prosecution arguing that the arrest itself may not have been lawful and therefore, any items found in his possession, consequently unlawfully obtained.
Additionally, our office raised the issue of there being no Body Worn Camera Footage (BWCF)
depicting the arrest.
Our office further argued that the requirements pursuant to Section 456AA(2) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) did not appear to be have been complied with on the evidence available.
Having given our client detailed instructions regarding his rights, particularly to contest all charges, our client instructed our office to seek a sentence indication.
As per our instructions, a Sentence Indication was sought and subsequently, the indication was accepted by our client.
Following brief submissions made on our client’s behalf, the presiding Magistrate sentenced our client to a without conviction, 12-month Adjourned Undertaking with a condition to pay $2,500 into the Court funds and to be of good behaviour during the period of the adjournment.
The presiding Magistrate also placed a stay on the payment for 9-months to allow our client time to satisfy that condition.