Man Cleared Of Fraud Charges After Being Racially Profiled And Falsely Accused
Kane* was falsely accused of committing fraud by using stolen credit cards to make transactions at a convenience store in Western Sydney. The police charged him with dishonestly obtaining property by deception (fraud) under section 192E(1)(a) of the Crimes Act, claiming that he was the ‘black man seen on the CCTV footage.’
The maximum penalty for the offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
Kane pleaded not guilty.
Police Accused Kane Based on Unsubstantiated Claims
The Blacktown Local Court accepted submissions stating that case against Kane was essentially circumstantial.
The police officers who reviewed the CCTV footage claimed that they “recognised” Kane as the suspect because he wore the same “distinctive” polo shirt that he had worn when acting as a witness in an unrelated car crash incident several days prior. However, these claims were ultimately uncorroborated by any further evidence.
Inadmissible Evidence Leads to Case Dismissal
During the trial, it was revealed that the still-images of the CCTV footage produced by the police were deemed inadmissible, and the original copy of the CCTV footage was never produced. As a result, His Honour found that the remaining evidence was insufficient to support the prosecution’s case against Kane.
The Court dismissed the proceedings and declared Kane not guilty of all charges.
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*Names have been changed for client confidentiality