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      Not guilty to stealing motor vehicle

      Our client is a 35 year old man from Sydney’s North Shore with a lengthy criminal history.
      Both he and his partner were recently charged with Take & Drive Conveyance and Carried in Conveyance Without the Owner’s consent.
      Police alleged that our client and his partner devised a scheme whereby they would attend the carpark to a block of units and steal vehicles at night.
      Police had CCTV footage which showed a vehicle similar to our client’s following the allegedly stolen car shortly after alleged crime took place. It was alleged that our client was driving the stolen car and his partner followed in the car owned by our client.
      Five witnesses described people similar in appearance to the pair in the carpark just before the alleged theft.
      Two of those witnesses positively identified our client from a photo identification board. The two witnesses stated that they saw the pair driving as alleged by police.
      Our client’s DNA was found on the steering wheel of the allegedly stolen car and the partner’s DNA was found on the passenger side door.
      Our client’s partner – against whom there was less evidence than the evidence against our client – pleaded guilty to Carried in Conveyance Without the Owner’s Consent.
      Our client maintained his plea of not guilty to both charges and the matter proceeded to a defended hearing at Manly Local Court.
      We systematically cross-examined the two witnesses who identified our client and were able to cast significant doubt on their evidence.
      In closing submissions, we argued that the DNA found on the steering wheel could have been deposited by secondary transfer.
      As it was a circumstantial case, the prosecution would need to negative any reasonable defence hypothesis consistent with innocence.
      Ultimately, our client was found not guilty of both charges and an application for Police to pay our costs was granted by the Magistrate.
      Our client is overjoyed with the result.

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