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Our client is a 21-year-old man who lives in Blacktown.
He was charged with aggravated break, enter and steal motor vehicle, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
It was alleged that with another man, he broke into an underground carpark in a unit complex, then broke into a Mercedes Benz car and drove it out of the carpark.
There were multiple CCTV cameras inside the carpark depicting both our client and his co-accused.
Our client has suffered from drug dependence from the age of 15 years.
He has a lengthy criminal record in both the Children’s and adult courts, largely consisting of dishonesty and property offences, and has served time in prison.
He was on parole at the time for 23 previous offences, and had relapsed into drug use, as his co-accused had done.
Our defence team nevertheless successfully applied for bail.
During the bail application, lengthy submissions were made regarding the fact the prosecution could not establish the essential element of “break” – as there was no evidence about how he accessed the underground carpark.
Our client’s co-accused, who was at least equally complicit in the offence and had in fact driven the motor vehicle, was represented by another criminal defence lawyer who did not make a bail application for her client. We were told that the reason for that decision was that his lawyer felt it was inevitable her client would receive a prison sentence, and that a bail application was therefore futile.
After intense negotiations, we convinced the prosecution to withdraw the charge of aggravated break, enter and steal. Due to our firm’s efforts, the prosecution also withdrew this charge for our client’s co-accused.
Upon withdrawal, our client and his co-accused pleaded guilty to steal motor vehicle and break out in company.
Our client’s case then proceeded to a sentence hearing during which our senior associate made lengthy submissions in mitigation.
Significantly, in the lead-up to the sentencing hearing we directed our client to obtain full time employment and undertake drug rehabilitation, which he did to his great credit.
In the result, and despite the fact our client was at least equally complicit with his co-accused and had a far more substantial criminal history, our client was given an intensive correction order (which means he did not serve any more prison time) while his co-accused was sentenced to 22 months in full time custody.
During the sentencing, her Honour made clear that our client would not have been allowed to remain at liberty if he were not gainfully employed and did not undertake rehabilitation.
Our client is thriving in his job and his life.
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