Assault Offences County Court
The client was a child who was charged with numerous violent offences, including Intentionally Cause Serious Injury, Unlawful Assault, Robbery and Affray. The matter was listed in the Childrens’ Court. There were three co-offenders in this matter, all of whom were over 18 and faced charges in the County Court.
This case surrounded a violent assault at a train station. There were three victims: two were the victims of the robbery and unlawful assault, and a third called the police and was set on by the offenders. This third victim suffered four stab wounds and a broken nose and was hospitalised for weeks.
As our client was a child, she faced proceedings in the Children’s Court. This was particularly significant in this case for two main reasons. Firstly, the focus of the Children’s Court is rehabilitation rather than general deterrence. This means that there are sentencing options that are not available in adult courts. Secondly, it gave our lawyer an opportunity to submit to the court that a Group Conference would be appropriate. Group Conferencing is only available in the Children’s Court and is a form of victim-offender mediation.
The Court was satisfied that Group Conferencing was appropriate in this case and the matter was adjourned in order for this to occur. The Group Conference was attended by the Informant, the client’s family members and social worker, our solicitor, a Victims of Crime representative and a convener. It involved an open discussion in relation to the offence. Most importantly, it gave the client a significant insight into the offending and allowed her to appreciate both the long and short term consequences of her actions.
In sentencing, the Court took into account the client’s positive response to the Group Conference. She was sentenced to a 6 month probation order without conviction. This sentence allows for Youth Justice to be involved with the client and provide ongoing support and supervision.
Given that one of her co-offenders was sentenced to several years immediate imprisonment, this was a fantastic result. For more on assault, click here