The client was a child and was charged with stalking.
As the stalking charges were of a sexual nature, our solicitor was of the opinion that the client would benefit from a Therapeutic Treatment Order (TTO). A TTO is a specialised course of treatment targeted at children who display sexually abusive behaviours.
If a TTO is completed the criminal charges will be struck out by the court and the child will avoid a criminal record. A TTO can only be ordered where a child is below the age of 15.
As the child was very close to his 15th birthday our solicitor brought the case before the court as a matter of urgency.
The child’s personal circumstances and family history were explained to the Magistrate and both the child’s parents attended Court to give evidence. Our solicitor made submissions that the most appropriate course of action was for the child to be placed on a TTO and given the opportunity to undergo treatment.
The Magistrate was satisfied of this and made an order that the child’s TTO application process be fast tracked. Our solicitor forwarded this court order to all the relevant agencies and the child was ultimately assessed as being suitable for a TTO.
The case was brought back on before the Magistrate and a TTO was granted less than 2 weeks before the child’s 15th birthday.The case will return before the Magistrate in 12 months. As long as the child has undergone treatment, all charges will be dismissed and there will be no criminal record.
This case highlights the importance of finding lawyers who specialise in crime and particularly of engaging lawyers who regularly attend the Children’s Court.