Key Words: Assault – section 61 Crimes Act 1900 – armed with intent to commit serious indictable offence – section 114 Crimes Act 1900 – affray – section 93C Crimes Act 1900 – intimidation – section 13 Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 – pleas of not guilty – acquitted of all charges
The accused SKB was charged with assault, intimidate and cause fear to a next door neighbour who police alleged, based on the complainant’s account, threatened to kill the neighbour and pulled a knife and made menacing words including intending to stab and kill the neighbour with the knife. During the course of the altercation, the neighbour, using his iPhone recorded some of the conversations between the accused SKB and himself.
SKB argued that the neighbour had provoked the incident and had been the threatening party during the course of the case. It emerged prior to the hearing of the matter that the complainant was a serving police officer, as too was his principal witness.
After a hearing spanning 3 days in the Local Court, SKB was found not guilty of all charges. The court was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt as to veracity and credibility of the witnesses, including the complainant as a result of large number of inconsistencies as between the accounts given by the witnesses during cross-examination and also inconsistencies between the evidence presented in Court and the recordings made by the witnesses themselves.
These significant inconsistencies led the Court to have some reasonable level of doubt as to the credibility and reliability of the witness and alleged victim’s account. The accused was therefore entitled to the benefit of that doubt and was acquitted of all charges.