Results for Clients
We pride ourselves on achieving good results for our clients. Below are just a few of our results from matters we have appeared in recently.
Trial, Sydney District Court, June 2020 - Not Guilty
The accused spent 2 years and 9 months in custody before he was found not guilty at trial of a charge of shooting with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The evidence put forward included that the accused was identified by his name by the complainant immediately after the shooting (and subsequently in a photo identification procedure) and a phone used by the accused was located nearby the scene of the shooting. Among other aspects of the defence, the defence obtained and introduced evidence of a neighbour nearby who was found to be in possession of firearm parts and ammunition soon after the shooting. Following his acquittal before a District Court Judge he was released from custody following his lengthy period of being refused bail.
Sentence, Sydney District Court, February 2020
The offender pleaded guilty to importing over 20 times the commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. The maximum penalty for importing a commercial quantity is life imprisonment. Here, over 20 times that quantity was imported. The offender was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, with a further 2 years to be served on parole.
Review of Real Estate License, NCAT, September 2020
Our client's real estate license was refused on the basis that he was not a 'fit and proper person' to hold a license. This refusal to issue a license followed a number of convictions entered in the Local Court, for which we also represented the client. Evidence was prepared on behalf of our client and put before the Tribunal in support of his application which was described by the Tribunal as "significant evidence from witnesses for the applicant that assert that his probity in this area is of a high standard". Ultimately, the Tribunal ordered that the Department of Fair Trading issue our client with a Real Estate License (Jamal v Commissioner for Fair Trading  NSWCATOD 99)
Trial, Newcastle District Court, May 2019 - Not Guilty
Former priest on trial for 9 counts of aggravated indecent assault against a teenage boy in the 1990s. The prosecution adduced evidence of former allegations of similar offences, and also evidence that the accused had a tendency to commit such offences. The accused was acquitted and found not guilty of all offences. There was significant evidence put forward by the defence including evidence of a substantial civil lawsuit by the complainant against the Church and a history of lying and fabrication to police. It was also demonstrated that there were irreconcilable inconsistencies in the complainant's evidence. The accused was found not guilty by a judge of all offences.
Trial, Sydney District Court, July 2019 - Not Guilty
The accused attended a brothel in the early hours of a weekend. He met a woman inside the brothel who said she was 18 years of age. They spent the following approximately 24 hours together at his apartment, including having sexual intercourse. She left the following day without incident. Approximately 12 months later, the accused was arrested and charge with several counts aggravated sexual assault. It was demonstrated during the two-week trial that there were serious inadequacies with the evidence of the complainant that were submitted to be inconsistent with the prosecution case. A witness was located by the defence who was nearby to the alleged offences, and who gave crucial evidence that supported a not guilty finding.
The jury unanimously acquitted the accused of all counts.
The prosecution were ordered to pay the legal costs of the trial because it was unreasonable to have instituted proceedings against our client.
Trial, Sydney District Court, September 2019 - Not Guilty
The jury acquitted the accused of multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault in company, which would have carried a full-time term of imprisonment of several years. The jury also acquitted the accused of indecent assault on a person under 16 years of age. The jury also acquitted the accused of the statutory alternative charges.
Conviction Appeal, Queensland Court of Appeal, November 2018 - Acquittal on appeal
R v Lennox; Lennox v R; Ex parte Attorney General (Queensland)  QCA 311
Our client successfully appealed against his convictions in the District Court of Queensland. The Attorney-General of Queensland responded to the notice of appeal by lodging an appeal against the leniency of the sentence.
Our client's convictions were overturned and acquittals were entered without a retrial. The Attorney-General's appeal was refused and our client was released from custody.
Hearing, Downing Centre Local Court, Sept-Oct 2018 - Not guilty
An 5-day hearing in the Local Court resulting in not guilty verdicts before a Magistrate. Allegations in relation to a neighbourhood dispute. History of animosity between the neighbours. Matters revealed in cross examination included that a witness had likely tampered with evidence. Multiple subpoenas were issued to local regulatory bodies and the police and were argued over in pre-trial stages, resulting in the production of material critical to the defence. Finding after hearing that the charges were not made out by police and client was not guilty.
Trial, Parramatta District Court, October 2018 - Withdrawn at trial
District Court, Parramatta
The charges were serious charges that included kidnapping, assaults occasioning actually bodily harm, being armed with an offensive weapon with intent to commit a serious indictable offence and indecent assault.
Following thorough investigation, preparation and submissions to the Director of Public Prosecutions, this client was released from custody and had his charges withdrawn during the week that his matter was listed for trial. He had been held in custody on remand for 15 months leading up to his trial but was released in response to our submission to the DPP. We had worked with this client for months in the lead up to his trial. Serious deficiencies in the police investigation and the proposed evidence of the complainant were exposed following our preparation with counsel. All were withdrawn and the client was released.
Supreme Court Bail application – Granted Bail
28 February 2018, Supreme Court of NSW
Our client was refused bail in the Local Court, relating to a set of alleged break and enters. These break and enter matters were alleged to have been committed whilst on two sets of bail for numerous similar charges that were laid one month beforehand. Accordingly, the matter was a ‘show cause’ bail application. Despite the prosecutions submission that cause was not shown, and the submission that there were unacceptable risks of committing further serious offences, leaving the jurisdiction and endangering others, our submissions to the contrary were accepted, and our client was granted bail.
Cause grievous bodily harm with intent – Not Guilty
27 February 2018, District Court of NSW
Our client was charged with causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) to another. The defence case was successful in establishing that the accused had acted in self-defence. The accused was a person who had been physically intimidated and called racial slurs by the victim on previous occasions. The jury acquitted our client the same day that they were entitled to commence their deliberations.
The prosecution were ordered to pay the legal costs of the defence.
Armed robbery – Discharged at Committal
23 February 2018, Central Local Court
The accused was charged with an armed robbery from 2010. The principal evidence against the accused was CCTV evidence of a man robbing a convenience store with a knife, the evidence of the shop owner, and DNA evidence taken from the cash register where an offender had taken money. The accused’s DNA was located on the register, along with the DNA of three other persons.
The prosecution had not excluded the possibility of secondary or tertiary transfer of DNA, and on the circumstantial case that they had presented, it was insufficient evidence for a jury to ever convict upon. Accordingly, our application was granted in the Local Court for the matter to be discharged without being committed for trial to the District Court. (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister)
Reckless wounding – Not Guilty
30 January 2018, Penrith Local Court
Our client was involved in a domestic dispute, in which she was physically assaulted by her husband who had been drinking and was demanding money. Following this altercation she had produced a knife and the husband ultimately sustained a wound to his arm. The matter was defended at hearing and the client was found not guilty. (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister).
Accessory before the fact to murder (News Link) – Not Guilty
21 December 2017, Supreme Court of NSW
This was a re-trial of an initial four-month trial, and a subsequent appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal. Following the first four-month trial which did not conclude, and a brief appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal, the matter returned back into the Supreme Court in 2017. On our successful application it was heard before a judge alone, rather than a jury.
It was alleged in the prosecution case that our client was involved in a “set up” of a former partner, in concert with another former partner of the deceased, which resulted in him being killed by a gunman. There was extensive evidence tendered throughout the course of the trial, and many witnesses. We briefed a telecommunications expert in relation to telephone data material that was said to be central to the prosecution’s case against our client.
After approximately two months of pre-trial and trial sittings, judgment was reserved. On 21 December 2017, our client was found not guilty of accessory before the fact to murder. (Solicitors: Abigail Bannister & James Lang).
Sexual assault, indecent assault – Not Guilty
17 October 2017, District Court of NSW
Our client was found not guilty by a jury at trial of sexual assault and indecent assault. (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister)
Police pursuit, drive recklessly etc. – Not Guilty
1 November 2017, Wollongong Local Court
Our client was charged with a police pursuit and a number of other serious driving offences as a result of a police pursuit which occurred in the Wollongong area. The accused was located in the driver’s seat of the vehicle by police when they reached the door of the vehicle once it had stopped. However, through cross-examination of the police officers involved in the pursuit, reasonable doubt was created as to the possibility of another driver having been driving at the time of the pursuit, who on the defence case had left the vehicle, our client having then jumped into the front seat after that. Through cross-examination, reasonable doubt was established as to the identification of the actual driver at the time, and the accused was found not guilty, likely avoiding a gaol sentence. (Solicitor: James Lang).
Stalk/Intimidate and AVO – Not Guilty, and AVO withdrawn
10 May 2017, Downing Centre Local Court
Our client was referred to us a pro bono (free of charge) client from the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS). Our client’s former male partner and new girlfriend made allegations against our client that she had stalked/intimidated both of them. These are serious criminal allegations. However, under cross-examination in a three-day hearing it was revealed that the allegations were not substantiated and were likely to have been fabricated in an attempt to unfairly damage the reputation and prospects of our client. The Magistrate found that our client was not guilty and that there was no basis for any AVO to be ordered against her. (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister).
Supply prohibited drug – Withdrawn & Dismissed
12 April 2017, District Court of NSW
Exceptional legal argument was raised by counsel in this trial relating to the impropriety of the actions of certain members of police in the investigation and evidence gathering of this case. The extent of that impropriety was such that the presiding Judge deemed that the evidence in question – which was fundamentally critical to the prosecution case – was inadmissible. Having made that ruling there was no prosecution case which could be advanced against our client and the charge was withdrawn.
Murder – Not Guilty
17 February 2017, Supreme Court of NSW
The accused was found not guilty for murder after a jury trial in the Supreme Court. Complex issues were involved in successfully running this matter to an acquittal. Our team worked hard to defend the accused – from the start of the matter until its resolution – which included gathering expert evidence including a pathologist, psychiatrist and toxicologist in support of the defence case. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
Manslaughter – Conviction Quashed on Appeal
2 December 2016, Court of Criminal Appeal
This client was initially charged with murder and convicted of manslaughter in a jury trial in the Supreme Court. We filed an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal on behalf of this client and argued that the conviction could not be upheld. The Court agreed with our submissions as to why the conviction was improper and quashed the manslaughter conviction. We also successfully argued that the Court should restrain any future re-trial of this matter to manslaughter and not be able to try this accused for murder, despite originally trying this accused for murder.
Use mobile phone while driving – Not Guilty
24 August 2016, Downing Centre Local Court
Our client was charged with using a mobile phone while driving. We took this matter to hearing and successfully defended the charge. It was alleged by police that some function of the phone was in use while the car was being driven by our client. At hearing, the court agreed with our submissions that this could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt. This meant that no traffic infringement was recorded, no fine was issued to our client and no points or license were lost .
Murder – Not Guilty, Bail Granted (News Article)
3 August 2016, Supreme Court Sydney
Client charged with murder in relation to the shooting homicide of a Crown witness due to give evidence in a prosecution for a large cocaine trafficking syndicate. Although murder is a ‘show cause’ offence, we put forward a strident bail application to which the court ultimately agreed to release our client on bail, despite the murder charge. Our client was alleged to have facilitated the murder by supplying a gun to the shooter. After a two-month trial in the Supreme Court the jury returned a verdict of not guilty for our client. Our client and his family were very satisfied with this result (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister)
Import Commercial Quantity of Cocaine: Severity Appeal Allowed (Judgment)
15 July 2016, Court of Criminal Appeal
This client was convicted in the District Court for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug (cocaine) and attempt to possess a border controlled drug (cocaine). The sentence imposed in the District Court was a non-parole period of 18 years with a total sentence of 26 years and 6 months imprisonment. We appealed this sentence to the Court of Criminal Appeal and sucessfully reduced the total sentence by 5 years and 6 months, reducing the non-parole period by 3 years and 6 months (Solicitor: Abigail Bannister)
Drive while disqualified – Not Guilty
22 June 2016, Bankstown Local Court
This client was charged with driving whilst disqualified. This charge was defended and the client was found not guilty on that charge. Further argument was put forward in relation to a prior offence which was not before the court, that that former conviction be annulled. This argument was successful. Not only was the client found not guilty for his current matter, but a previous conviction and 11 year license suspension was annulled.
Trial, Sexual Assault -Not Guilty
11 March 2016, Parramatta District Court
Client was alleged to have sexually assaulted a person in a bathroom at a Western Sydney licensed venue. The matter proceeded in a two week trial before a jury which returned a verdict of not guilty
Take/detain in company causing actual bodily harm – Not Guilty
March 2016, Parramatta District Court
Not guilty following a jury trial.
Supply prohibited drug – Not Guilty
March 2016, Sydney District Court
“I would like to thank you for all your help and guidance you gave me during a crucial time in my life. I feel honoured to have had someone so dedicated to my case who would offer sincere advice. Thank you again for all your support and dedication” – SM, 23 July 2016. Found not guilty by a jury on drug supply charges, in relation to drugs found in the accused’s car and home.
Fire firearm in a public place, possess prohibited firearm – Bail Granted and Not Guilty
11 September 2015, Sydney District Court
This client was alleged to have fired a weapon in a shooting that took place in Greenacre. After a 3 week trial in the Parramatta District Court, a jury returned a not guilty verdict on all counts. The cross examination of police officers involved in the matter revealed significant deficiencies in evidence gathering and investigative procedure. There was also significant questions raised on behalf of our client about the reliability of the evidence of witnesses who had given evidence identifying our client. Ultimately, these arguments as presented before the jury contributed to the client being found not guilty on all counts.