Julie Bugmy

PRESS RELEASE: Justice Finally Arrives For Broken Hill Aboriginal Woman Julie Bugmy

“I now intend to commence a civil action to sue NSW police and have engaged Peter O’Brien solicitors”. Broken Hill woman Julie Bugmy plans to sue NSW police. 

What happened to Julie Bugmy?

On 28 December 2021, Broken Hill police attended the home of Julie Bugmy to arrest her for breaching her bail condition not to contact police unless in an emergency.

Julie Bugmy, a 55 year old Aboriginal woman, called Broken Hill police at 1:53pm to report an incident involving her partner and requested police to attend.

Julie Bugmy

NSW police arrest Julie Bugmy

Police attended not to investigate the matter, but to inform Julie she was under arrest for breaching her bail and to take her to Broken Hill police station. When Julie protested she was charged with resisting police and when her partner, daughter and son protested they were also charged with resist and hinder police.

Whilst some charges against her partner, daughter and son were dismissed at Broken Hill Local Court, Julie was convicted and placed on a conditional release order.

Julie appealed to the NSW Supreme Court, her lawyers arguing that the Magistrate had made an error of law.

Justice Wilson dismissed her appeal on the 25th of February 2023. However, she appealed the decision to the NSW Court of Appeal who handed down their decision last Thursday 4 April 2024 (Bugmy v DPP NSWCA 70).

Aboriginal woman arrested for breaching bail

In a unanimous decision, Justices Leeming, Mitchelmore and Basten all agreed the arrest of Ms Bugmy for breach of bail was unlawful. This was due to a failure by the arresting officer to comply with the requirements of section 77(3) of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) which is to consider:

  • The seriousness of the alleged breach of bail,
  • Whether Ms Bugmy had a reasonable excuse,
  • Ms Bugmy’s personal attributes and circumstances,
  • And whether there was an alternative course of action that would be more appropriate than arrest.

Bugmy arrest deemed unlawful

Ms Bugmy said:

“I’m very grateful for the decision. I knew what happened to me and my family was wrong so I kept fighting.

I’d like to thank the Aboriginal Legal Service and my legal team who fought my case for me. I now intend to commence a civil action to sue NSW police and have engaged Peter O’Brien solicitors”.

I’ve tried to bring up issues relating to police out here for over 20 years and hopefully decisions like mine might help to put a stop to the mistreatment of Aboriginal people by police.”

Suing NSW police for unlawful arrest

Our law firm has years of experience handling such cases, click here to read our Civil Case Studies. We can help guide you through the legal process, ensure that you understand your rights, and provide you with the support you need to seek justice.

Call O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 or email . We can also set up a free appointment with the civil lawyers in our Sydney office.

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Nicole Byrne

Content Creator | Media Coordinator
O'Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors


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O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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