DPP v DC

Key words: Jury trial – aggravated sexual assault – section 61J Crimes Act 1900 – recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm – section 35 Crimes Act 1900 – not guilty verdicts – costs awarded

Facts:

DC was charged with 4 counts of aggravated sexual assault while inflicting actual bodily harm on the victim and one charge of recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm.

It was alleged by police that DC sexually assaulted the complainant in her apartment and stabbed her in the arm with a knife.

DC was refused bail and faced a trial in the Sydney District Court.

Outcome:

After three days of evidence and cross examination of the complainant, it became apparent that the complainant was not an accurate or reliable witness. A number of inconsistencies in her account emerged during cross examination and it became clear that the complainant was not being truthful about what had occurred. Evidence also revealed that the complainant had a history of self harm.

The trial judge gave the jury an opportunity to return verdicts of not guilty at the close of the prosecution case. The jury returned after five minutes with verdicts of not guilty on all five counts. The court then awarded costs in favour of the defence.

Testimonial

Note to representatives during trial: ‘Dear Peter, you are doing a fantastic job. I have so much confidence in you and can’t thank you enough for fighting hard for me. Keep up the good work.’ DC