Our client is a 29-year-old unemployed woman who was already on bail for assault offences.
It was alleged that she became involved in a heated dispute with a female neighbour at her apartment complex in Western Sydney.
The neighbour alleged that our client raised her voice and insulted her before punching her in the face, causing bruising and swelling to the eye. The incident occurred in full view of at least 2 other residents.
Our client was arrested and taken back to Penrith police station where she was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
She maintained that the neighbour lunged at her before she reacted. The charge was therefore defended on the basis on self-defence. We cross-examined the complainant at length in court, revealing her to be an elusive and unreliable witness. We also cross-examined police about their failure to take statements from the eye-witnesses.
The Magistrate was not satisfied that the prosecution had discharged its burden of negativing the possibility of self-defence, and accordingly found our client ‘not guilty’.