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Bail Granted Despite Allegations of Serious Child Sexual Offences

CRIMINAL CASE

Our client is a 38-year old truck driver from the Penrith area.

He has been charged with eight separate sexual offences against a child over a period of time, being:

  1. Indecent assault, person under the age of 16 years
  2. Sexually touching of child, 10 to 16 years of age
  3. Aggravated sexual intercourse with child, 10 to 14 years of age (strictly indictable)
  4. Aggravated sexual intercourse with child, 10 to 14 years of age (strictly indictable)
  5. Sexual touching of child, 10 to 16 years of age
  6. Aggravated sexual intercourse with child, 10 to 14 years of age (strictly indictable)
  7. Aggravated sexual intercourse with child, 10 to 14 years of age (strictly indictable)
  8. Sexually touching of child, 10 to 16 years of age

A ‘strictly indictable’ offence is one which must be referred to a higher court, such as the District Court, due to its seriousness. It cannot be finalised in the Local Court.

Several of the charges, being counts 3, 4, 6 and 7 are ‘show cause’ offences, meaning that for the purposes of a bail application the onus of proof shifts to the defence which is required to convince the court that there are strong reasons for bail to be granted.  If the defence is unable to do so, the defendant must be remanded in custody, in other words remain in prison, while their case goes through the courts – a process that can take years for a case of this nature.

The prosecution alleges that our indecently assaulted his daughter (indecent assault is the predecessor to the offence of sexual touching) when she was between the ages of 6 and 7 years, and continued to engage in sexual activity with her including sexual intercourse without consent (also known as ‘sexual assault’) for years thereafter.

Our client vehemently denies the allegations, providing us with details regarding the improper motivation for the complaints as well as the events surrounding the alleged offences.

Using that information, our defence team immediately went to work accumulating material to support our client’s instructions, which assisted immensely in overcoming the show cause requirement and securing bail for our client in the Local Court, by undermining the complainant’s version of events as well as raising questions regarding the credibility of the complaint.

Our client is therefore at liberty pending the finalisation of the proceedings.

It is a fundamental tenet of our criminal justice system that a person is presumed innocent until and unless he or she is proven to be guilty in a court of law and, despite the undermining of this important principle through amendments to the Bail Act, including the introduction of ‘show cause’ provisions, it is imperative that criminal defence lawyers fight for the liberty of their clients through thoroughly prepared and persuasively presented bail applications, however serious the allegations may be.

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