August 5, 2013

Common Assault Police v SB

Facts – Common Assault Police v SB

SB was a prominent community figure in the Woolloomooloo and Redfern area.  He had many community roles and Government positions.  He was a leader in his community.  He was an elderly man who had no criminal record.   On an occasion, however, it was alleged by police that when seriously provoked by another person in his community SB grabbed him, pushed him against the wall and threw him into the gutter.   SB pleaded guilty to the charge of common assault on the man, however, argued that he had been seriously provoked during the incident.

During the course proceedings, the learned sentencing magistrate heard in great detail about the significant role that this man had performed in his community.  A number of very positive testimonials were tendered and the absence of criminal record was noted.  Given the nature and extent of the provocation, it was urged that the charge be dismissed by the Court.

Held

Despite the serious nature of the offence, the magistrate agreed that the provocation was indeed severe and had triggered SB to behave in an abnormal and uncharacteristic way.  The magistrate dismissed the charge without recording conviction pursuant to s.10(1)(a) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act.