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      Not Guilty of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

      Our client is a single mother of two children who was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm.

      It was alleged that our client attacked another parent at her child’s school. The complainant made a statement to police claiming that our client threw a water bottle at the complainant and then grabbed her by the face and neck area with her hand and did not let go. The alleged victim told police that she had suffered injuries to her neck.

      There was also a witness who arrived at the school during the altercation and observed the fight. Police had obtained a statement from this person.

      There were a number of additional witnesses who were present throughout the fight, however statements were not obtained from them. As such we commenced by explaining to her how to beat an assault charge.

      Upon speaking to our client, she told us that she had in fact been attacked first and was acting in self-defence.

      The prosecution had also not charged our client with common assault. As such, they had to prove that our client was responsible for the injuries.

      With this in mind, we commenced preparing a cross-examination of the complainant. In her evidence in chief at Burwood Local Court, she made a number of assertions that were not in her statement. We were able to elicit a number of inconsistencies throughout a meticulous and extensive cross-examination. It became quite obvious that the complainant had exaggerated her evidence.

      Secondly, there was a witness statement from our client’s mother in law which supported our client having acted in self defence.

      Under cross-examination we were able to have the independent witness admit that she did not see the start of the fight. As such she could not be used by the prosecution to rebut self-defence. Further, the witness agreed that our client had not touched the complainant’s neck.

      In clsing submissions we highlighted that the complainant was not a credible or reliable witness. We further submitted that even if the prosecution were able to rebut self-defence, if they could not prove that our client caused the injuries then she would have to be found not guilty.  

      Ultimately, the magistrate agreed with our submissions and the client was found ‘not guilty’ for Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. She is now able to move on with her life without  a conviction hanging over head.

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