Multiple counts of Armed Robbery, Causing Serious Injury and Theft in St Kilda area.
The client was a young Sudanese male who had only recently turned 18. After dropping out of high school he began associating with a new group of peers and became involved in a range of gang-related offences committed near public parks and railway stations.
The charges covered multiple incidents, during many of which it was alleged that the client used his skateboard as a weapon to strike the victims. The injuries to two of the victims were severe.
Because the client was under 18 at the time of some offences yet over 18 at the time of others, the charges were listed in the Children’s, Magistrates’, and County courts.
In his Record of Interview the client made admissions to some of the offences and in many instances the offending was captured on CCTV. We negotiated these charges for a plea of guilty on the basis that the client acted recklessly rather than intentionally, and that his moral culpability was less than his co-accused.
In relation to some of the most serious charges, the prosecution lacked evidence that the client was in fact definitely the person who had committed the alleged crimes. After lengthy negotiations with the prosecution we successfully argued that these charges should be withdrawn entirely.
The client’s matters proceeded as a plea of guilty in all courts. By way of mitigation we relied on the client’s youth, exposure to civil war in Sudan, lack of prior convictions, remorse, rehabilitation prospects, and his strong family support. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment to be served in a Youth Justice Centre.
The client has engaged very well with Youth Justice and is now eligible for youth parole. He is looking forward to recommencing his education and spending time with his family.