May – July 2022
Ringwood Magistrates’ Court, August 2023
Between May 2022 and 30 July 2022, several allegations were made against our client, leading to him being charged with the following:
1. Three charges of Contravention of a FVIO under s123 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008;
2. One charge of using a carriage service (telephone/text) to harass under s474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995;
3. One charge of Persistent Breach of FVIO under s125A(1) of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008; and
4. One charge of threatening to damage property under s198 of the Crimes Act 1958.
Claims were made against our client regarding controlling behaviours he had allegedly displayed between May and July 2022. These claims were not supported by evidence from the Applicant, lacked specific details and accordingly, there was much conjecture as to whether these events had actually occurred.
Similarly, insufficient evidence was provided by the Applicant with respect to the charge of using a carriage service to harass. A total of 5 pages of text message screenshots failed to adequately outline the scale of the alleged harassment and did not prove that our client had exhibited such behaviour.
A video of our client lighting gasoline was also brought to light by the Applicant, leading ultimately to a fourth charge of Contravention of a FVIO. However, the existence of said video was extremely questionable as descriptions of its whereabouts and contents were vague and ambiguous and the Applicant failed to provide this video to the Court. This can also be said about allegations made about our client’s persistent FVIO breach, which lacked any form of specificity or credibility.
How the Case Resolved
We called for a number of clarifications with respect to the Applicant’s allegations of controlling behaviour and usage of text messages to harass. We also asked that the Application provide the Court with the video of him lighting gasoline. None of the allegations could be further substantiated, not could the video be produced.
Following extensive discussions with the Prosecutor, an agreement was made for all charges to be withdrawn. For this, we sought costs on behalf of our client to cover the expenses he incurred.
The total sum of Application for Costs was in excess of $10,000, being the full sum of the fees incurred by our client. Though the Prosecution was not in agreement with the quantum of our client’s costs, it was nonetheless granted by the Court. Therefore, our client was entirely reimbursed for his expenses and can move forward with the next chapter of his life.
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