Our client is a 39 year old man from Western Sydney.
He was residing in a shared house with a man, the man’s 12 year-old son and 9-year old daughter.
He was charged with indecently assaulting the daughter, namely touching the outside of her vagina through her underwear and groping her chest area.
The girl made the complaint to her aunt immediately after the alleged incident. The aunt wrote down the complaint and contacted police immediately thereafter.
Our client participated in a police interview during which he vehemently denied the allegations, telling police that he suspected the girl’s complaint was a result of the fact he refused to buy ice cream for her when they attended the local shop.
The police took statements from the brother and two of his friends, who were playing cricket in their front yard that afternoon while our client and the young girl watched on.
The boys did not claim to see the assault, which was alleged to have occurred as our client and the girl watched on.
Police nevertheless relied on the girl’s complaint to charge our client with two counts of aggravated indecent assault and two counts of common assault.
The matter ultimately proceeded to a defended hearing in the local court, where we systematically dismantled the prosecution case.
The young girl’s responses made it clear the complaint occurred shortly after the pair attended the shops – something which police and DPP failed to look into, but for which our defence team obtained relevant and exculpatory CCTV footage.
Our cross-examination of the boys and the aunt revealed gaping inconsistencies when compared with the complainant’s version of the events.
Her Honour ultimately found that the prosecution case was not substantiated. She was especially critical of the prosecution’s failure to pursue a line of inquiry that was available at the time of the police interview – namely, that the girl made-up the complaint due to the fact she was angry with the defendant for not buying her ice cream. In that regard, police could easily have attended the local shops and spoken with the store owner, as well as obtained CCTV footage from a nearby camera.
As a result of that failure, her Honour ordered the prosecution to pay the defendant’s legal costs.