Affray Charges Withdrawn

Client’s Affray Charges Withdrawn in Dandenong Magistrates Court


  1. Affray – s.195H(1) Crimes Act 1958
  2. Robbery – s.75(1) Crimes Act
  3. Theft – s.74 Crimes Act
  4. Unlawful Assault – s.23 Summary Offences Act
  5. Unlawful Assault – s.23 Summary Offences Act


Our client was charged with a range of assault related charges, including affray, relating to an incident that occurred at a shopping centre food court.

The allegations were that our client had attended in the company of some friends. His friend is then alleged to have started punching the complainant and demanding money. It is then alleged that our client along with others have joined in on the assault resulting in the assault and affray charges. After the assault it was alleged that members of the group had taken the belongings of the complainant, resulting in the robbery charges.

The complainant could only identify one person involved and did not know anyone else. Police relied upon CCTV footage in an attempt to identify the remainder of the alleged offenders.

There was CCTV footage that showed our client entering the shops with the named friend and leaving with the same. However, the footage of the actual incident was unclear.


The key to his case was ID and whether police could establish beyond a reasonable doubt that our client was involved. Normally alleged offenders are identified by complainants through identification parades or photo book evidence, where the complaint points out the alleged offender from a range of other people in a line-up, or from a number of other photos of people who match the general description given.

However, in this case the prosecution case relied solely upon CCTV footage.

The prosecution were trying to rely upon the accused presence to establish that he was complicit in the offending, even though he was not physically involved in the assault.

Their position was flawed, as the prosecution would need to prove and be able to point to some specific evidence of our client actively assisting or encouraging the offending behaviour.

Extensive discussions were had regarding the issues in the prosecution case conference, and it was pointed out that the footage did not show our client doing anything at the time of the incident.

The matter eventually resolved with the prosecution offering to withdraw all charges on the basis that our client did not pursue any application for costs against them.

To obtain costs the client would have had to run the matter to hearing. Our client wanted the matter finalised and accepted the withdrawal.

This was a hard-fought case that resolved favourably for our client because of our lawyer’s firm understanding of the law in relation to complicity. To get the prosecution to withdraw all charges without having to go to a hearing was an outstanding outcome for our client.