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Man Charged with Affray has Charges Withdrawn

Lawyer-in-charge: Lara Menon

Our client was a 42-year-old man charged with Affray following a dispute with his neighbour. During the extended COVID lockdowns, our client’s children and nephew (who was visiting from New Zealand and then forced to stay in Australia as a result of the lockdowns) were riding their dirt bikes on their own residential property. Our client’s neighbour was disturbed by the noise, however, instead of approaching the situation civilly, the neighbour approached our client’s wife and daughter while they were in the car on the way to the shops.

Our client witnessed this exchange from his property, and, still in his slippers, went outside to see what was going on. As our client approached, the neighbour and one of his guests attacked our client by punching him in the face. During the altercation, our client sustained significant injuries to his ear which required a trip to the hospital. Police charged all involved in the incident with Affray, a very serious offence punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 10 years.

Lara made representations to the Police that it was unjust for our client to be charged with an offence in circumstances where our client was the only person involved who sustained injuries. Further, the only evidence available to Police were statements made to Police by the other participants in the altercation. Lara made submissions that the evidence of other defendants would not be reliable, and unlikely to withstand rigorous cross-examination.

In Lara’s opinion, the Police would be unable to prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt and requested that the Police withdraw the charges so that our client would not have to incur the expense and emotional ordeal of proceeding to trial to defend the charges. The Police agreed and the charges were formally withdrawn.

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