Reckless Conduct Endanger Serious Injury; Dangerous Driving; Recklessly Causing Serious Injury; Recklessly Causing Injury (for more info on reckless conduct endangering serious injury click here). Frankston Magistrates Court
The client had two friends, Brett* and Shane*. Brett had started seeing Shane’s girlfriend. Shane was upset, and tried to track Brett down in his car. Shane found Brett with his girlfriend and began to pursue him doggedly by car.
Our client was called in to assist Shane. He agreed, with the intention to calm down the situation. Brett was now being pursued by both Shane and our client in the same car. Eventually Shane caught up with Brett. He cut across Brett in traffic, forcing him to stop, and produced some knuckledusters. He repeated this once Brett had parked his vehicle, and an assault ensued. Brett suffered serious injury. Our client was charged as a co-accused on the basis that he was acting in concert with Shane or potentially aiding and abetting.
Just because someone is there and does not stop what is happening does not make that person guilty. The prosecution must establish that the defendant has either assisted or encouraged the main offender in some way. If this can’t be done then they must withdraw the charges.
So the prosecution’s challenge was that they needed to establish that our client had either: a) agreed to assist in tracking down Brett with the intention of assaulting him; or b) that he became involved and then assisted Shane to attack Brett.
Shane made a no comment interview (replied ‘no comment’ to every question he was asked) and our client made a comment interview. Fortunately for our client he did not make clear admissions to assisting or agreeing to assist. However, given that he had driven Shane for a period and Shane had knuckledusters in his hand, he still had some issues in relation to the charges.
After lengthy negotiations with the prosecution it was agreed the matter could resolve on the basis that the client pleaded guilty to a charge of Careless Driving. The summary was by then so watered down that our client received a $400 fine with no time off the road. It was an amazing outcome for the client.
*names have been changed