Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court – December 2023.
Summary of facts
Our client and the complainant were friends for over 20 years. Our client and his friend attended a family wedding and consumed alcohol over several hours.
Because of the complainant’s level of intoxication our client and his wife agreed to take him home. En route to the complainant’s home our client reacted to what he believed to be physical violence perpetrated by the complainant against his wife. After remonstrating unsuccessfully with his friend, he requested his wife (the driver at the time) to stop the car.
The prosecution alleged that our client exited the vehicle, dragged the victim from the rear passenger seat and struck him over the head four (4) times with an opened beer bottle. Consequently, the complainant suffered severe lacerations to his head.
As a result of being struck to the head, the complainant fell to the ground, and it was alleged our client continued the assault.
What happened at Court?
The evidence against our client was very strong. CCTV footage depicted every aspect of the assault. Our client made full admissions to the incident in his record of interview with police. Case conference discussions with the prosecution occurred, and upon the withdrawal of a charge of affray, the matter set down for a plea of guilty.
At the plea, our client gave evidence of his deep remorse for his behaviour and the impact it had on his close friend. The Court had regard to other matter’s with ultimately moderated the outcome for our client and these included:
- Early plea of guilty,
- Character references, including a reference provided by the victim’s wife.
- Lack of criminal history.
- Our client made full admissions during the police interview,
- Evidence of rehabilitation specific to the circumstances of the offending (alcohol treatment)
The offending was profoundly serious, however, given the strong plea material placed before the Court, the sentencing Magistrate was persuaded that a Community Correction Order could adequately address all sentencing purposes (punishment, denouncement, rehabilitation, and deterrence).
The sentencing Magistrate recorded a conviction and ordered our client to complete 150 hours of unpaid community work; to receive treatment for alcohol abuse; and to complete an anger management course. The duration of the CCO was 18 months.