Reckless wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm: DPP v MFA

Wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Section 33 Crimes Act 1900  – reckless wounding, Section 35 Crimes Act 1900 ­– jury trial – self-defence


MFA was a former housemate of the complainant. While they were living together, the complainant had subjected MFA to constant abuse, harassment and intimidation. MFA moved out of the house due to the complainant’s aggressive behaviour. Even after MFA had moved out, the complainant continued to make threats against MFA and MFA’s family. The complainant also refused to return MFA’s belongings.

On the day of the incident, MFA returned to the house to collect his belongings. MFA took several precautionary measures, including bringing a friend with him and arming himself with a small serrated knife.

When MFA entered the house, the complainant demanded money from MFA. MFA refused, and the complainant grabbed MFA by the neck and threw him onto a couch. MFA wrestled with the complainant, and in the course of the struggle MFA ended up on top of the complainant. MFA tried to tell the complainant to stop, but the complainant continued to punch MFA. MFA then pulled out his knife, and again told the complainant to stop. Only when the complainant continued to attack MFA did MFA stab him in the back of the leg.

MFA then tried to render medical assistance to the complainant. The enraged complainant left the scene, and returned with a bayonet and continued to threaten MFA. At this point, MFA called an ambulance and police. The complainant was taken to hospital. MFA disclosed to police that he had stabbed the complainant during his police interview.


O’Brien Solicitors defence lawyers represented MFA in a two-week jury trial, and assisted him with running the defence of self-defence. The jury accepted that MFA had acted in self-defence. Self-defence is a complete defence; therefore MFA was found to be not guilty on the charge of wounding with intent and the alternative charge of reckless wounding. MFA was duly acquitted.

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

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