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Sexual Touching and Assault Occasioning ABH Charges Withdrawn, and No Conviction Recorded for Common Assault

CRIMINAL CASE

Our client is the 34 year old owner of a human resources business, which he commenced three prior, having moved to Australia from New Zealand.

On a night out in the city, he attended several venues in the Sydney CBD where he consumed numerous alcohol drinks.

He was captured on CCTV footage attempting to re-enter a venue after being excluded, then approaching a number of females outside the venue. The footage allegedly shows him ‘groping’ one of the women on the backside and chest area.

He then walked away from the venue and lay on the ground.

Our client was approached by a person who attempted to see if he was ok, but saw this as a threat, got to his feet and was recorded punching the man to the face causing his nose to bleed.

Police attended the scene, arrested our client, obtained CCTV footage from outside the first venue and area of the altercation and charged our client with:

  1. Sexual touching in relation to the female,
  2. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to the punch to the face, and
  3. A ‘back up’ charge of common assault, also for the punch to the face.

Our firm drafted and sent formal ‘representations’ to the prosecution with a view to having the first two charges withdrawn, provisional upon our client pleading guilty to the back up charge of common assault.

After several weeks of negotiations, the prosecution agreed to withdraw the main charges on that basis, and our client entered a plea of guilty to common assault-only, while the first two charges were withdrawn and the police ‘facts’ significantly amended to remove any mention to the alleged incident regarding the female and to the bleeding from the nose.

In the lead-up to the sentencing hearing, we guided our client to seeking treatment for alcohol use, obtained a counselling report, obtained a letter of apology as well as character references.

On the sentencing date, we made extensive oral submissions on the potential impact of a criminal conviction on him and his business – including the possibility of having to relinquish lucrative contracts, the steps taken to address underlying issues, our client’s remorse, his prior good character and the unlikelihood of reoffending.

Although initially indicating a ‘non-conviction’ order was not appropriate, her Honour was ultimately convinced to discharge our client without recording a criminal conviction under section 9(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

He is free to continue with his business and remain in Australia without fear of adverse consequences.

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