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      Soccer Player Not Guilty of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm 

      Our client is a 23-year-old soccer player who was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

      It was alleged that during a soccer game, our client punched the opposing team’s player, breaking their nose. The complainant made a statement to the Police claiming that our client was aggressive towards him, including pushing, grabbing and then punching him to the face. The alleged victim told the Police that he suffered injuries which included bruising and a broken nose. 

      Police obtained one witness statement from a player in the same team as the complainant. 

      This was despite there being a number of players who witnessed this alleged incident take place, including the referee and our client’s teammates. No statements were obtained from any of those persons. 

      Our client told us that he acted in self defence as the victim grabbed him by the neck and he felt threatened for his safety. 

      With this in mind, we commenced with issuing subpoenas to the Football Association (FA) for their records to obtain any statements made in concurrent disciplinary proceedings as well as the details of the referee. Unsurprisingly, this was a fruitful exercise as we were able to obtain statements made by the complainant and his witness which were inconsistent with the police statements they had made.

      Following this, we began preparing a cross-examination of the police officer in charge of the matter, the alleged victim and the witness. 

      In the course of our cross-examination of the police officer at Blacktown Local Court, we were able to have him concede that he should have interviewed and obtained statements from our client’s teammates as well as the referee.

      Our cross-examination of the complainant and witness meticulously exposed the differences between the accounts they gave to police and the accounts they gave to the FA. It quickly became apparent that both witnesses were neither credible nor reliable. 

      Thirdly, we called our own witnesses – the teammates of our client. They gave evidence that at all times our client was acting in self-defence. 

      Ultimately, the Magistrate agreed with our submissions and our client was found ‘not guilty’ of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm. Our client and his family were overjoyed with the result.

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