Brisbane Crime Lawyer defends criminal charge in Brisbane where one punch was thrown in self defence
Justin Sibley Brisbane Crime Lawyer and Williamson and Associates Lawyers Brisbane successfully defended an innocent man put on trial for assault occasioning bodily harm in Brisbane in circumstances where the police prosecutor should never have proceeded. Police were called to a supposed ‘one punch scenario’ where a male had been rendered unconscious in Brisbane City one evening. The defendant’s story, not assessed at all closely by the police, was that he had been ascended upon by a group. The CCTV footage, not viewed until much later by the police who had already dismissed the defendant as the wrong doer, showed that he had been surrounded by the group, repeatedly taunted by members of the group, and assaulted viciously by one of them. Despite clear provocation, followed by a serious and violent assault upon him by one of the group, the defendant was seen to be turning the other cheek and attempting to avoid a fight. This occurred even after one of his attackers held him in a strangle hold. This male then viciously assaults him, trying to pull him down to knee him in the head. The defendant successfully breaks this hold and pushes him away, and then punches him several times in a clear proportionate use of force to defend himself. While defending himself against this vicious attack, the group that had sought to antogonise him pull back. One of the group approaches him, seemingly to continue the assault, but then withdraws. A third party walks in towards the defendant, with his hands up in a very similar posture to the male who had strangled him. Sadly, the defendant, having to make a snap decision to assess this person, believes that he is just another member of the group coming to assault him. He struck this person with one punch, in self defence, and this caused that person to lose consciousness. As the defendant said, he was outnumbered, and on the CCTV it was clear he was outnumbered by several males and a number of females. Clearly the defence of Mistake of Fact under s 24 of the Criminal Code and s 271 Self Defence were raised and obvious on the CCTV, and the prosecution could point to no evidence to negative the defence beyond a reasonable doubt. To make matters worse, only one of the individuals who had been in the group that had tried to antagonize and assault the defendant, was interviewed by the police, and that person was quick to seek to paint the defendant as the aggressor. The actions of the group picking on and eventually assaulting an innocent person, led to another innocent person being hurt. As regrettable as that was, the defendant should not have been prosecuted simply because someone was hurt. A value judgement was clearly made by the police and the prosecutions, regardless of whether the defendant himself was a victim of a cowardly group offensive. A submission to the police prosecutions in Brisbane to drop the charge was dismissed with no justification, requiring the defendant to defend himself before the criminal jurisdiction of the magistrates court in Brisbane. In summing up and awarding costs, the magistrate was critical of the police prosecutor for pursuing the prosecution in circumstances where they had no reasonable prospect of success. He dismissed the charges, acquitting the defendant of the criminal charge of assault occasioning bodily harm heard before the court in Brisbane. The magistrate had earlier ruled there was no case to answer on a charge of public nuisance.