Dishonesty/Property Case Studies
Review real dishonesty and property offence case studies in which O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors have acted. See the results we have achieved and what our clients have said about us.
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Fraud and Dishonesty
Police arrested and charged a man for credit card fraud. The only evidence they had was that he was the culprit, was that he was wearing a similar shirt to someone else they had dealt with recently.
Someone booked a room under a false name at a Mascot hotel in Sydney’s inner south. Police laid Identity theft & fraud charges. They were withdrawn after our criminal defence lawyers negotiated.
Break and Enter
GG broke into a home in the early hours of the morning while the occupant was sleeping. GG was carrying a bat and entered the lounge room, where the occupant heard a loud smashing sound of glass breaking. GG faced charges of:
- enter building with intent to commit indictable offence,
- aggravated break and enter with intent to commit serious indictable offence,
- and enter prescribed premises without lawful excuse.
We successfully acted for GG and the Court dismissed the charges.
KM entered a property where a group of friends had gathered. When told to leave, KM broke into one of the group members’ car and took a number of items. We successfully represented KM at the Central Local Court in Sydney’s CBD.
CJW mistakenly held the belief that he did not need to attend the court to hear charges against him. As a result, CJW got a conviction in his absence. Our firm successfully got the Court to dismiss all charges against CJW.
NZK was charged with and pleaded guilty to firing of a firearm in a public place and an attempted break and enter. During the sentencing hearing, the defence made submissions with regards to NZK’s remorse and prospects for rehabilitation. Accordingly, he got a relatively short sentence given the objective seriousness of the offences.
KB took part in a series of break and enters into schools. He pleaded guilty to the charges of aggravated break and enters and receiving stolen property. The sentencing judge took into account his early guilty plea as well as his personal problems with addiction. Consequently, he got a relatively light sentence as a result.
The complainant was verbally abusing another neighbour late one night. FC confronted the complainant who then retreated back into his apartment. FC felt provoked and forced his way into the apartment with the intent to intimidate the complainant.
The defence entered into a successful plea bargain in which FC pleaded guilty to the charge of break and enter with intent to commit a serious indictable offence. His sentence was a good behaviour bond.
LM faced charges of breaking into a hardware store and stealing tools. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. We represented LM in his hearing. We argued that the prosecution’s case was based on circumstantial evidence. LM was found not guilty and the Court dismissed the charges.
Police charged DC with break and enter to which he pleaded not guilty. The court could not satisfy itself beyond reasonable doubt that DC was guilty of the offence as there were issues with the ability of the witnesses to identify the offender. The charges were dismissed accordingly.
During a home invasion three men appeared and assaulted the victims, demanding money. The police requested that the victims help identify one of the male offenders. There were several issues with the photo board. One of the witnesses positively identified XWX as the offender but then went missing and could not attend court to give evidence. The other witness identified XWX, another man and raised the possibility of another person. The police relied on the identification made by the first witness to arrest and charge XWX. The defence successfully applied to exclude the evidence of the identifications made by the two witnesses after arguing that it was unfairly prejudicial to the client. The police withdrew the charges.
ML was involved in an argument with a friend in Mosman shopping centre over ML’s girlfriend. The situation resulted in an altercation between ML and his friend with three other boys also present during the tussle. We negotiated a positive deal for ML and brought the Robbery in Company charge down to the lesser charge of ‘Steal from person.’ ML pleaded guilty to the offences and the charges were dismissed resulting in a caution to ML against further conduct.
CJ was charged with aggravated robbery after a road rage altercation ensued in Glebe. CJ approached the passenger door of the victim, reached in, and took his phone. O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors successfully entered a plea of not guilty of aggravated robbery (corporal violence) including three alternatives. The trial was dismissed and there was no conviction.
TXK was charged with stealing and, alternatively, receiving stolen goods. This was in relation to an incident where police had found batteries in his car that matched the description of some batteries that had been reportedly stolen the same morning. He was convicted of stealing in the Local Court. We assisted him in appealing the conviction in the District Court. The appeal was upheld after the defence successfully argued that TXK was merely a passenger and did not touch or move the batteries.
ASG was pulled over and searched by police. After the police found several items in his bag, he was charged with two counts of possessing stolen property and one count of possessing housebreaking implements. During his hearing, the defence successfully argued that the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the items were stolen. He was found not guilty.
Police found a large number of stolen items in TYK’s vehicle and charged him with stealing. He was not the only occupant of the motor vehicle, and pleaded not guilty to stealing. He was convicted in the Local Court and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. We represented TYK in his appeal against conviction in the District Court. The appeal judge found that he could not be satisfied that TYK had stolen the property and quashed the conviction. TYK was immediately discharged.
Teenager has robbery in company charge after friend steals backpack off another girl. Police withdraw charge and matter dropped by Children’s Court.
SE was charged with larceny after sorting through mail in the shared letterboxes of his apartment complex. We successfully acted for SE, who received a conviction with no penalty.
UJ, a young person, was charged with larceny and dishonestly obtaining property by deception. UJ was found not guilty of larceny. UJ received no conviction for the second charge and was released for 6 months.
MRY was charged with six property related offences. The defence successfully argued that several of the charges were inappropriate which resulted in three of the charges being withdrawn. MRY pleaded guilty to the remaining three charges of larceny. We successfully represented MRY in his sentencing hearing which resulted in a lenient sentence being ordered.
The victim had her mobile phone stolen at a shopping mall food court. HS was identified from the CCTV footage. The court found that the prosecution had not made out their case and the larceny charge was dismissed.
MH was charged with stealing from shops and a series of offences related to passing off stolen goods as her own. She pleaded guilty to all charges. We represented MH in her sentencing hearing where emphasis was placed on MH’s psychological condition and the impact that this had on the commission of the offences. The sentencing magistrate recorded no conviction on the condition that MH enter into a good behaviour bond.
Our client was charged with the larceny of several items. He was worried about getting a criminal record as he was a medical professional. We represented FP in his sentencing hearing where he successfully got the charges dismissed on the condition that he enter into a good behaviour bond. No conviction was recorded as a result.
RD was caught attempting to shoplift several items from a department store. He was charged with and pleaded guilty to 2 counts of larceny. We successfully represented RD in his sentencing hearing where RD received a good behaviour bond.
GP and his friend were charged with shoplifting from a supermarket. The co-accused admitted to the offence and told police that GP was not involved with the shoplifting. The Local Court accepted submissions of GP’s limited involvement and his lack of prior convictions and accordingly dismissed the matter without conviction.
Police charge client with larceny (stealing friend’s mobile phone and credit card)
TJ, who was a teenager, and three friends planned to rob a Domino’s Pizza Store. TJ held the knife directly to the worker’s neck and smashed a computer screen. Two days later, TJ presented himself to the police station and confessed to his actions. We successfully represented TJ at Parramatta District Court in a Childrens Court hearing.
HAE was charged with and pleaded guilty to using a weapon to commit an armed robbery. We represented HAE in his sentencing hearing where a number of psychiatric and psychological reports were submitted confirming HAE’s drug abuse and gambling addiction. The sentencing judge determined that a sentence of imprisonment was not necessary and imposed a 2 year suspended sentence instead.
Client charged with two armed robberies involving the use of a sharp weapon. During his sentencing hearing the defence argued that he had good prospects for rehabilitation. He was given a 3 year sentence which was less than the starting point of 5 years.
VCN was involved in a robbery of a restaurant where he used a small knife to threaten a customer to hand over his wallet. The police traced the getaway vehicle to his house. He tried to ram his way out of the parking space when police appeared at his place. VCN was arrested and charged with armed robbery and using a weapon to assist arrest. Our defence lawyer successfully argued that the case fell within a specific category covered by a guideline judgment. This limited the judge in the sentences available.
HAE was charged with using a weapon to commit an armed robbery of a convenience store. After pleading guilty in the District Court, we represented him in his sentencing hearing. The defence tendered a number of psychological reports confirming the client’s gambling addiction and drug abuse. The judge determined that the client was an exceptional case, and that a sentence of imprisonment would not need to be imposed given the history of our client, and his prospects for the future.
SH was charged with robbery in company and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Representations were made to the DPP and as a result SH pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of steal from person and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence.
Receiving Stolen Goods
When AG was stopped by police he gave them a fake name. When police asked for his correct details AG turned and ran through the yards of private residential premises. Police caught him and seized a stolen watch. He spat on one of the police officers when he was searched at the police station. He pleaded guilty to all charges. No conviction was recorded for the unlawful entry on enclosed land offences, and he was sentenced to four months imprisonment for the spitting, assault and possession of stolen goods.
Goods in custody
DB was a young person charged with goods in custody after police found an iPod in his possession. The defence objected to certain admissions made by the client as they were made in the absence of a support person. These admissions were excluded. The charges were dismissed after the prosecution’s case failed to give rise to a reasonable suspicion that the iPod was stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.
James was out drinking with his friends one night when he was questioned by the police about his bag. The bag was a small women’s style bag and the security tag was left on.
TCH was arrested and charged with money laundering. He pleaded guilty. We represented him during his sentencing hearing where submissions were made that TCH was merely a pawn in the money laundering syndicate. The court made an order for imprisonment, however, given the amount of time he had already spent in remand, he was eligible for release 5 days after the hearing.
Dishonestly obtaining property
SS was charged with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception after allegedly making three payments from another person’s Mastercard. It was alleged SS used the card to spend money for her Opal Card and items from Aldi supermarket. CCTV footage from Aldi led to police arresting SS. We successfully pointed out to the Prosecution that the identity of SS could not be linked to the person displayed in the CCTV footage. Ultimately, the matter was dismissed.
Client was charged with dishonestly obtaining property after he created a scheme involving ordering products, cancelling the credit cards he supplied to the company and then selling the property online. He pleaded guilty to the charge. The defence applied to have the sentence dealt with by the mental health provisions. This was successful with RNJ given a good behaviour bond.
JJ was the recipient of money which had been fraudulently claimed by the ATO. She was charged with dealing with proceeds of crime and fraud. She gave evidence before a jury that she had been deceived by a drug dealer and had no idea where the money had come from. The jury accepted JJ’s evidence and was found her not guilty.
Damage to property
In a recent landmark High Court case, we represented a client who appealed their conviction and sentence for the offence of intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging property belonging to another.
The High Court held, in a majority decision, that ‘damage’ to property within the scope of s 195(1) requires proof that a person’s act or omission has occasioned some alteration to the physical integrity of the property, even if only temporarily. Our client climbed onto a ship loader during a protest, which was shut down due to safety concerns. He then used a harness and rope to lock himself to the ship loader and lowered himself into a position that was deemed of serious harm to himself. The facts of this case state the ship loader remained inoperable until authorities removed our client after a period of around two hours.
As a result, the High Court held that the facts as stated by the District Court were not capable of supporting a finding of guilt and ordered our client’s conviction be quashed.
WM was charged with recklessly destroying property after allegedly punching the victim’s car window as a result of a road rage incident. We successfully acted for WM, who received a conditional release order without conviction.
MRT and the complainant were arguing at their accommodation. There were allegations that MRT shoved the complainant, and damaged her door. Whilst representing MRT in his hearing, we were able to cast doubt on the testimony of the complainant. Our client was found not guilty of all three charges: attempting to stalk or intimidate, common assault and intentionally/recklessly damaging property.
DLO was caught by security cameras on a spree of property damage. He was found guilty of all charges but was given relatively light sentences.
JE was arrested and charged with destroying or damaging property after he was caught deflating the tyre of a police vehicle. After pleading guilty, the court dismissed the charges without conviction on the condition that JE enter into a good behaviour bond.
JYL was spotted by police writing a poem on a wall in Newtown. She was charged with intentionally marking premises without consent (graffiti). She pleaded guilty with the matter proceeding to sentencing. The defence submitted that JYL was an artist from overseas and was unfamiliar with the local laws.
Robin was charged with a graffiti offence of ‘intentionally mark property without consent’ under section 4(1) of the Graffiti Control Act 2008 (NSW). He had two prior offences for graffiti.
HW was charged with trespass after he had walked into a Security Restricted Zone at the airport. We represented HW in his sentencing hearing. The magistrate took into account HW’s character, age and limited criminal history when deciding to dismiss the charges without conviction.