Our client is a 36-year old tradesman from North Western Sydney.
He was at a hotel in the Sydney CBD when he entered into a conversation with a 25-year old female.
Both had already been drinking, and they drank a number of further alcoholic drinks together, before catching a taxi together to our client’s apartment.
While there, the female exchanged text messages with a female friend to the effect that everything was ok and for her friend not to worry.
The next morning, the complainant sent further text messages to her friend to the effect that she had been forced into having sexual intercourse.
She left our client’s home, met her friend and they both attended a police station where a formal complaint of sexual assault was made. In the complaint, the woman alleged that the pair were drinking on a couch at our client’s apartment when he forced himself on her and had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her. She claimed she had stated ‘no’ several times and attempted to ‘fight off’ our client.
The complainant attended a hospital during which an examination was performed and samples taken.
Police attended the home of our client several days later where they arrested him, placed him in custody and conducted an interview during which our client was adamant the sexual intercourse was consensual.
Police nevertheless charged our client with one count of sexual intercourse without consent (also known as ‘sexual assault’) under section 61I of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and one count of detain for advantage under section 86 of the same Act.
They refused him bail at the police station and we made a successful application in court the very next day.
Based on our client’s instructions, we quickly subpoenaed CCTV footage from the hotel and from our client’s apartment complex, and managed to track down and obtain in-car footage from the taxi they took to our client’s premises– all of which were highly suggestive of the complainant being a willing participant in the events leading up to the pair entering our client’s unit.
We also relied on photographs of our client and the complainant which showed no evidence of any struggle.
We wrote detailed ‘representations’ to the DPP – who eventually took the case over from the police – to the effect that neither of the offences could be proved beyond reasonable doubt on the admissible evidence available. Representations are a formal letter requesting the withdrawal of charges.
We followed up our representations with extensive negotiations with the DPP, after which both of the charges against our client were withdrawn, saving our client the stress, expense and potential risk of a lengthy District Court jury trial.
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