December 19, 2017

Charges Dismissed for Involvement in WestConnex Protest

Protesters interfering with traffic

Road Rules 2014 

Charges dismissed

Arrest for Disobeying Road Rules during Involvement in WestConnex Protest

In early 2017 there was a group protest against the WestConnex motorway project. They were protesting against the destruction of more than 800 trees to make way for the development. The protest was disrupting and interfering with traffic. The chief inspector at the scene claimed to have given a lawful direction for the protesters to move on. They remained at the scene which led the chief inspector to call the police. Once the police arrived they attempted to usher and control the protest and eventually arrested some of them, charging them with associated protesting activities including disobeying Road Rules 2014. O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors represented some of these protesters in their cases.

Case heard before Local Court

Our clients sought to have the matter withdrawn however this was unsuccessful. They elected to have the matter heard in the Local Court claiming that they had not heard the direction and therefore had not committed an offence.

Successful Cross-Examination of Witnesses

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors successfully represented our clients in this case over a 2 day hearing. It was argued that our clients had not heard the directions given by the chief inspector. Our solicitors successfully cross-examined six police witnesses and the chief inspector. The outcome was that the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that our clients had in fact heard the directions and therefore they had engaged in lawful protesting activities. We assisted our clients in avoiding fines and criminal convictions with the charges dismissed.

Protesters blocking traffic, disobeying lawful orders of police

Police attempting to manage the protest before arresting several protesters

Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 to set up a free appointment with the defence lawyers in our Sydney office. 24 hour phone / text: 0421 373 961