Police v LO

Key Words: apprehended violence order – contravene prohibition/restriction in AVO, Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 Section 14(1) – abusive Facebook message – charges withdrawn – case dismissed

Facts:

The victim and LO were in a feud, and as a result of that feud the victim had taken out an apprehended violence order (AVO) against LO. At 1am on the night of the alleged incident, the victim attended a police station and presented police with a screenshot of an abusive Facebook message. The message was from an account with LO’s name. If LO was behind the message it would have constituted a breach of the AVO conditions.

Result:

Given that police were only shown a screenshot of the message (as opposed to the actual interactive Facebook page), O’Brien Solicitors raised the possibility that the Facebook message was sent from a fraudulent account set up in LO’s name. It was also possible that someone else had access to LO’s Facebook account. On the strength of these arguments that charge was withdrawn and the case dismissed.