‘Representations’ Can Result in Criminal Charges Being Withdrawn

Information on this page was reviewed by a specialist defence lawyer before being published. Click to read more.
Justice law

Olympic boxer Harry Garside has a nervous wait ahead after his criminal defence lawyers told a court this week they have made formal representations to the New South Wales Police Force requesting that the domestic violence-related proceedings against their client be withdrawn on the complainant was the “aggressor” during the incident in question, not their client.

The accusation

Mr Garside has pleaded not guilty to one count of domestic violence-related common assault against his former partner.

Police allege that between 4pm and 7pm on 1 March 2023, 25-year old Mr Garside, who won a bronze medal for boxing at the Tokyo Olympics, assaulted his 32-year old former partner Ashley Ruscoe in Bellevue Hill, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The day after his arrest at Sydney Airport on 2 May 2023 upon returning from South Africa, Mr Garside told the media:

“The conduct of police in the presence of the media at Sydney International Airport yesterday took me completely by surprise”, the statement reads.

“I categorically deny the allegations of violence and dispute the account given to police.”

“I have nothing to hide and will defend myself against this charge.”

“The police have not been provided with all of the facts and I am confident that my reputation will be vindicated through the legal process.”

“Because the matter is before the courts, I won’t be saying anything further.”

Before the court

Mr Garside’s came before Magistrate Barko for a ‘mention’ (a short administrative court date) in Downing Centre Local Court yesterday, at which time his criminal defence barrister made verbal submissions to the effect that “substantial representations” had been made “to the police in relation to material police didn’t have access to at the time they charged Mr Garside”.

According to the lawyer, those representations include a video that shows the “complainant as the aggressor in the altercation” as well as evidence of the complainant “making threats before going to police about making false complaints.” 

The case has been adjourned for two weeks for police to consider the material and make a decision regarding whether to withdraw the charge. 

Harry Garside staunchly maintains his innocence since his arrest and has said he will vigorously defend the charge if it proceeds to a hearing.

What are ‘representations’?

Representations are written submissions made to prosecuting bodies such as the NSW Police Force, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Roads and Maritime Services and Local Councils formally requesting the withdrawal of charges, downgrading of charges to less serious ones or even amendment of what are commonly called the ‘police facts’ – which are the specific allegations against the defendant in criminal cases.

Representations often include supporting material such as documents obtained by the defence such as CCTV / phone / other video footage, telephone and internet records, social media posts, emails, criminal histories and documents associated with other proceedings, forensic and medical reports and the like, whether obtained by subpoena or otherwise, as well as witness statements prepared by the defence.

They can also advise of any available defences and point out that the admissible evidence available does not establish the offence/s to the required statndard.

Making representations is often a vital part of the criminal process as it can result in the proceedings being shortened (whether by having the charges dropped or otherwise) and thereby reducing the stress, uncertainty and financial expense of lengthy proceedings for the defendant, as well as saving resources for both the courts and prosecuting authorities.

To read more about representations or watch our video, click on this link.

Receive all of our articles weekly


Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Spring 2022.

Your Opinion Matters