Case study - Famly Violence offences: Contravene Intervention Order and Stalking
(1) Persistent Contravention of a FVIO; (2) Contravene FVIO x15; and (3) Stalking.
Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court – May 2023.
Summary of facts
Our client and the complainant were formally married for 17 years. A final Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) was issued by the Magistrates’ Court, listing our client as the Respondent and the complainant as the Affected Family Member (AFM). Our client’s children are also listed on the Order as protected people with full exclusionary conditions, with conditions not to contact protected persons by any means.
It was alleged that our client breached the FVIO by contacting the complainant via social media and telephone communications.
What happened at Court?
Our office held case conference discussions with the Prosecution. We explained that our client has an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), is on a Disability Support Pension, and has severe memory complications along with several other cognitive difficulties. We argued that because of our client's difficulties with both spoken and written English, the extent to which he understood the conditions of the Intervention Order was in doubt. Moreover, these difficulties were compounded in circumstances where the police member who served the Intervention Order did not ascertain whether our client required an interpreter.
Our office explored the option of a possible defence of mental impairment and the likelihood of successfully running this defence. On balance, we considered that our client's interests would be better served by pursuing a more practical and pragmatic approach. And to this end, we prepared a comprehensive written application for a Diversion on behalf of our client, and argued the following factors in support:
Circumstances of this matter;
The culpability of our client’s alleged offending given his difficulties;
Age and absence of any criminal history;
The gravity of the offending overall; and
Appropriateness of the proposed resolution.
The Prosecution agreed to recommend our client for a Diversion.
After the prosecution filed a diversion notice with the court the case proceeded as a diversion assessment At Court. We filed with the Court several medical reports that detailed the severity of our client's acquired brain injuries, and importantly how this ABI impacted amongst other things, our client's capacity for consequential thinking, and to remember important details. Our application was successful and the Magistrate placed our client on a Diversion with these conditions:
To continue treatment with his General Practitioner (GP);
To follow all active Intervention Orders where he is the Respondent; and
To be of good behaviour for a period of 1 year.
Contact our office for advice and representation
As this case study illustrates, thorough preparation and careful analysis are very important. Early preparation is often key to securing good court outcomes. We offer a free initial case assessment where we can take you through your options. Call our office or book an appointment through our website if you require representation at Court.