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Our client is a 33-year-old employee at Woolworths, who faced several sexual assault allegations brought by a female work colleague. From the very start, our client vehemently denied ever having any sexual or inappropriate relations with the complainant.
16 separate sexual assault charges were brought by the prosecution, and our client was intent on defending all of them.
He saw another criminal law firm in Sydney who advised him that he would be found guilty if he defended the charges. Our client showed us a copy of the written correspondence to that effect. We disagreed with that firm’s advice, as we quickly ascertained that there were glaring inconsistencies in a number of the complainant’s statements, parts of which simply did not make sense.
The matter was ultimately listed for a jury trial in Downing Centre District Court, and the prosecution case centred around the complainant’s numerous statements to police.
Our defence team worked intensely to gather a range of materials via various lines of inquiry, including subpoenas, and prepared witnesses statements which discredited the complainant’s claims. That material was crucial in establishing the alleged incidents could not have occurred.
After extensive cross examination of the complainant at trial, the prosecution was left in a position where it was unable to establish a ‘prima facie’ case against our client for 10 of the charges. A ‘prima facie’ case is one where the evidence is capable of persuading a properly instructed jury that the defendant is guilty. The prosecution’s failure to meet this test led the Judge to direct the jury to return verdicts of not guilty for those 10 charges part-way through the trial.
The defence then presented our case, by the end of which it was clear the complainant had fabricated the allegations for her own purposes.
After just 40 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty for the remaining 6 charges.
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