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Not Guilty of Stealing from Employer and Police Ordered to Pay Costs

RELATED TO: Larceny by Clerk or Servant, Fraud Charges, Penalties for Criminal Offences, NSW Penalties for Criminal Offences
CRIMINAL CASE

Our client was a working for a large Australian telecommunications company when he allegedly ordered six iPhones worth $4000, without authorisation, using his user name and password.

Police alleged that he in fact received and kept the phones without paying for them, and charged him with ‘larceny as a clerk or servant’ under section 156 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), an offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

The evidence indeed suggested that our client ordered the phones, but other elements of the offence were lacking. We made a formal request for the charge to be withdrawn on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to establish beyond reasonable doubt that (a) the transaction was unauthorised, and (b) our client actually received and took the phones.

Police refused our request and the matter proceeded to hearing where, as expected, the Magistrate found our client not guilty on the very same grounds as we requested withdrawal.

We then made an application for our client’s legal costs to be paid by police by reason of inadequate police investigation. That application was supported by our letter requesting withdrawal.

The Presiding Magistrate granted our application and the NSW Police Force has been ordered to pay the entirety of our client’s legal costs.

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