LEGAL CASES & RESULTS

Criminal Law Solicitors & Traffic Law Perth & Regional WA –

as of October 2018


Unlawful Access to a Restricted Computer System – Successful Acquittal

Perth Public Servant charged with five counts of unlawful access to restricted computer system. This was a complicated matter involving five charges and the matter was listed for two days.

Close analysis of the Prosecution case revealed the Prosecution would struggle to establish a prima facie case. After discussions with the Prosecutor prior to the trial commencing, the matter was brought to an end, a formal acquittal entered and Prosecution ordered to pay over $8000 in legal costs.

These charges would have serious repercussions for a person’s future.

Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO)

There was a charge of aggravated assault occasioning bodily harm together with a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO).

Both of these were resolved satisfactorily and the client was acquitted of the assault after trial and the Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) was resolved by way of an Undertaking.

Armadale Man Charged with Reckless Driving to Evade Pursuit and Failing to Stop in Circumstances of Aggravation

These types of incidents are very serious involving a so called Police chase. All convictions of this offence result in an immediate term of imprisonment of not less than six months and one day.

This matter went to trial on 22 March 2018. The allegation related to a section of road in Southern River. A straight stretch of road, the Police alleged speeds of 140kmh were maintained by our client.

With the aid of photographs and maps and distances and measurements and notes not kept by the Officer, this case collapsed after approximately one hour of cross examination.

After discussion over lunch with the Prosecutor and with the Police Officer still to continue giving evidence under cross examination, the Prosecution elected to abandon that particular charge and the aggravated failing to stop and the matter was dealt with as simply reckless driving, no imprisonment with a costs award of $7000.

A conviction for the offence would have meant an immediate term of imprisonment.

Appeal to the Supreme Court for Bail Application

Bail had been refused in the Perth Magistrates Court for serious drug charges. Our client had been charged with attempted possession of 3kgs of Methylamphetamine.

Prosecution were strenuously opposing bail in the circumstances arguing that the matter was so serious that our client should be remanded in custody.

After appearing in the Supreme Court, we were able to persuade the Court to nonetheless grant bail and our client was released from custody.

Sexual Penetration / Indecent Dealing

 Nine charges of sexual penetration of a child and indecent dealing of a child. Acquitted of two charges on a no case to answer submission, found not guilty of five charges by unanimous verdict of the jury. Convicted of two indecent dealing charges of kissing a child.

Outcome was a suspended term of imprisonment.

February 2018 – Historical Sex Charges – Five Day Jury Trial.

Mullaloo Man Challenges Speed Laser

As an experienced Perth traffic offence lawyer we successfully challenged the LTI ultralite L20-20 laser speed gun. The allegation was that detection was at over 350m. The gun was unsupported by tripod with officer leaning over signal box. The effect of heart beat and breathing of officer affecting the laser beam at long distance, wrong car detected.

Transmission of Child Pornography (Revenge Porn)

We recently represented a Perth man in relation to transmission of child pornography that formed what the Court called revenge porn.

The sentencing was in the District Court and the person was not sent to prison but received and Intensive Supervision Order with a programme requirement to undertake counselling and supervision

East Perth man charged with assault occasioning bodily harm

The issue was self-defence – charge dropped after negotiation by our criminal lawyer team just prior to trial – client able to continue application for Australian citizenship with a clear record.

Perth Man charged with Reckless Driving Traffic Offence

Zigzag scenic drive, driving wrong way on one way road at speed – accident – car written off. Reckless driving reduced to dangerous driving after negotiation on day of trial. Recovered costs and no licence suspension.

Jandakot man charged with driving under demerit point suspension facing loss of driver’s licence for nine months

The issue at trial was the service of the notice of the demerit point suspension collected at a post office in a sealed envelope. The Police say that is service of the notice. The Police could not establish at trial what was in the envelope. The Court found him not guilty and costs.

Indecent Dealing of a Child

A man from South West in WA facing Indecent Dealing charges and trial in the Perth District Court. Case dropped by the DPP and matter at an end after consideration of our cross examination of the child by Max Crispe – Perth & South West WA Criminal Lawyer

Mandurah Public Servant charged with 43 counts of unlawful access of a restricted computer system

Pleads guilty and fined $4,000 and granted an immediate spent conviction after representation by our Mandurah & Perth criminal lawyer team . A great result to have so many offences but end up with no conviction recorded on their criminal record.

Bunbury Man Charged with Reckless Driving

Matter listed for trial on plea of not guilty. Represented by our Bunbury & Perth Traffic Lawyer. Negotiation on the day prior to trial commencing, the charge reduced to careless driving. End result $200 fine and we recovered a costs award of $3200 for the client. No effect on his driver’s licence.

Wilson Man charged with reckless driving

Police alleged 121km/h in a 50km/h zone on the basis that Police maintained a constant 50 metre distance to ascertain speed. Our traffic lawyers used the Police dash cam to dispute Police claim. Charge downgraded to careless driving. Small fine, no licence suspension and full recovery of towage and impoundment costs.

Sorrento man found not guilty after a Supreme Court jury trial on offence of arson

A serious allegation involving destruction of a house and the contents to the value of $340,000. Key issue in trial was identification. At the end of the trial the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty and were clearly not satisfied our client was involved.

Spearwood Man Charged with Indecent Dealing with a Child under 13 years

Trial took place in February 2016. Jury returned unanimous verdict of not guilty.

Sale of prohibited drugs charge representation

Southern Suburbs Couple – Police seized cash of $71,819 as being reasonably suspected of being unlawfully obtained. It was suspected to be the result of sale of prohibited drugs. After negotiations with Police by our criminal lawyers, $51,819 was returned to the clients.

DNA Acquittal

Albany client acquitted by Jury after a challenge to police by our experienced DNA evidence lawyer  regarding the origin of the DNA on a drug packet and money. See article at foot of page for more information.

Assault Public Officer Under Prescribed Circumstances

This is a matter that would require an immediate term of imprisonment of not less than six months. We were able to negotiate and have the prescribed circumstances removed for a client in Karratha during representation by our Regional WA Criminal Lawyer. The client was fined.

0.005 Traffic Offence

The Prosecution were seeking a period of suspension for the matter being a second offence. We were able to convince them and the Court that it was a first offence. No suspension.

Ballajura Man Facing Third Reckless Driving Based on Radar Detection

Identification was a key issue. The traffic offence charge was dropped after negotiations prior to trial. The client was entitled to recovery of all towage and vehicle storage fees as well as keeping his licence.

Reckless Driving

This matter was set for a trial in Karratha. Our criminal lawyer negotiated with Police and matter reduced down to dangerous driving and no loss of driver’s licence.

Successful Result in Dog Act Prosecution

Our clients were charged with being the owner of a dog that attacked a person resulting in physical injury. The City of Melville was seeking an order for destruction of the two dogs involved in the attack. We were able to convince the Magistrate that it would not be appropriate to make the order for destruction. This was a first offence for these dogs under the Dog Act and the owners had made efforts to demonstrate that they were responsible dog owners.

Kimberley Man Acquitted

 My client was acquitted of twenty two counts of unlawful use of a computer system in regional WA, the Police failing to establish unlawful access to any computer occurred and the case being thrown out on a no case to answer submission at the end of the prosecution case. His employment was preserved.

Accessed a Restricted Computer System
Section 440A The Criminal Code

Our firm has acted successfully in a number of these matters acting for clients.

We did a trial in Derby Magistrates Court where the client was found not guilty. We also acted for a client in the Kalgoorlie Magistrates Court. The case collapsed on the first day and the client was acquitted.

We have also appeared in situations where clients have admitted the offence and pleaded guilty. We have successfully obtained a spent conviction so the person ended up with no record.

We also acted for a school teacher in a four day trial involving nine charges. This was in the Joondalup Magistrates Court. These were serious allegations. If convicted, he would have lost his employment. We raised a ‘No Case’ submission at the end of the Prosecution case. That was successful and the decision was given on the fourth day. The client was acquitted and the Prosecution was ordered to pay our legal costs.

Our Perth and Regional WA legal team is always available for a consultation and representation on these computer & IT law matters.


Interesting Cases

DNA Acquittal

This was a jury trial in May 2016 in Albany and was determined on the issue of DNA.


The key question was not “Whose DNA it was?”. It was clearly the client’s. The question for the jury was “How did the DNA get there?”.

The case concerned 30g of high grade Methylamphetamine. The key issue was the client’s knowledge of the existence of the drugs and money hidden in the centre console of the car. Knowledge of the drugs is required to establish the accused is in possession of the drugs. The client denied all knowledge of the hidden drugs and money.

This case involved the challenge to Police evidence as to how the DNA got onto the drug packet and money hidden in the centre console of the car.

DNA is mobile and secondary transfer can and does occur. Secondary transfer DNA can occur by a handshake. Person A shakes the hand of person B and person B then for example touches an object, eg. a glass and can leave only the DNA of person A. Person A never physically ever touched the glass.

Likewise, an object, in this case the top section of the console placed on the seat from the centre console during the search and where the client had previously been seated may collect the client’s DNA. If the lid, as in this case, was then placed back on top of the console at some stage during the search which it was, where the drugs and cash were, it could deposit the client’s DNA on the drugs and cash.

The central question, therefore, is if the DNA on the drugs and money came from primary contact by the client with the drugs and money, he must have had knowledge of their existence in the hidden centre console. If there was a doubt as to whether it was primary contact or if it could have been from a secondary transfer, that would not be consistent with the DNA being placed by him directly.

This case resulted in a jury acquittal.

If you are interested in the concept of secondary DNA and its application to the Criminal Justice system, it is worthwhile reading this rather short full Court decision of the High Court – Fitzgerald v The Queen [2014] HCA 28.