In this case study, our client was charged with Unlawful Assault and his case was finalized at Heidelberg Magistrates' Court in September 2021. Read on for a discussion of the facts, matters raised in mitigation, and the sentencing outcome.
Date & location of offending
April 2020, eastern suburbs.
Heidelberg Magistrates' Court, September 2021.
Our client and his wife (the complainant) had been married for over 20 years. Tension within the marriage had been building for several weeks during Victoria's first lockdown. The couple had two children, and one child required intensive education.
Our client and his wife had been arguing about the homeschooling of their children. After several minutes, the argument became more head and escalated to the two of them exchanging verbal abuse towards one another.
The prosecution alleged that our client had pushed his wife causing her to fall over. He was later questioned by the attending police and made full admissions. He also expressed his remorse for his actions.
The police applied and obtained a limited Family Violence Intervention Order against our client. The application was heard in Court, and he subsequently consented without admission to a Final Order (limited order).
He was also directed to complete a Men's Behaviour Change Program.
Our client was also charged with Unlawful Assault.
How Case Resolved
Fortunately, our client had no prior criminal history. At an early case conference negotiations resulted in an amended prosecution summarily which more accurately reflected a narrative of the facts consistent with both the initial complainant and our client's early admissions.
Our client then instructed our office that he would plead guilty to a charge of Unlawful assault. Submissions to the Magistrate were made on behalf of our client at his plea hearing, and his remorse and previous good character were emphasized in mitigation.
It was also evident, that he had deeply regretted the incident, and that his wife had forgiven him for the incident. The Court also noted that he was more than halfway through completing the men's Behavior Change Program.
The Sentencing Magistrate was persuaded not to record a conviction and ordered our client to complete an Adjourned Undertaking with conditions to be of good behavior, complete the Men's Behavior Change Program, and to pay $400 into the Court fund.
Call us if you must attend Court for Unlawful Assault
If you are charged with Unlawful Assault, call our office on 03 9668 7600 or email us to receive expert legal advice and court representation from Shaun Pascoe, an accredited criminal law specialist.