Our client, Harry, was attending a family gathering in a suburb of Sydney when he became involved in a dispute with another attendee. The altercation escalated and moved to a nearby empty lot where the police alleged that Harry punched the other attendee, causing actual bodily harm, pain and a swollen lip. The police also alleged that Harry and another attendee, Nick, got into a physical fight and that attempts to stop it were unsuccessful. They also alleged that Harry and Nick fled the scene when the police arrived, with Harry sustaining a deep cut during the escape.
Medical Treatment and Police Interview
Harry later attended a police station for medical treatment, but due to this, the police were unable to interview him or read him his rights under Part 9 of the Law Enforcement (Power and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW). The police obtained statements from witnesses, including the attendee who was punched, and charged Harry with two offences:
- Assault occasioning actual bodily harm with regards to the punch causing a swollen lip
- Affray as a co-accused to Nick.
Withdrawal of Charge
The key witness and victim of the punch chose not to attend the proceedings, leaving our legal team unable to cross-examine him and test his statement in court.
As a result of this lack of evidence, our solicitor negotiated with the police prosecutor to withdraw the charge against Harry of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
For the remaining charge of affray, our legal team conducted a defended hearing, including cross-examination of one witness and the co-accused Mak. Harry also gave evidence in his own defence, as well as a witness for Harry and Nick.
Our lawyers also presented evidence of Harry’s character and complete lack of prior criminal record to support the credibility of his denial of guilt.
Ultimately, our solicitor successfully argued that there was not enough evidence to convict Harry of affray beyond a reasonable doubt, leading to a dismissal of the charges against him.
This case highlights the importance of having experienced legal representation when facing criminal charges, as well as the importance of thoroughly examining and testing all evidence presented in court. Our team’s attention to detail and expertise in criminal defence led to a positive outcome for our client. If you need an assault defence lawyer, contact us today.
*Names have been changed for client confidentiality
Contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 to set up a free appointment with the defence lawyers in our Sydney office. 24 hour phone / text: 0421 373 961