Criminal charges withdrawn – Family Violence

FACTS:

Our client was charged with Unlawful Assault contrary to section 23 of the Summary Offences Act and False Imprisonment under the common law. The police alleged that our client pushed his ex-partner into a room within her property, then prevented her from leaving until she complied with him.

Our client was able to produce an audio recording of the interaction in question, which was greatly inconsistent with the complainant’s version of events and raised significant questions about her credibility.

This recording was then produced to police, with withdrawal of all charges sought. The police initially refused to withdraw, indicating that the charges would need to proceed to a Contest Mention where a Magistrate would hear the matter.

A Contest Mention is the preliminary stage of defending charges, during which the prosecution and defence explain the issues in contention to a Magistrate, who then sets down the matter for a Contested Hearing. 

During a Contested Hearing the Magistrate hears all the evidence and delivers a verdict of guilty or not guilty. It is at this stage that witnesses are called to give evidence and the defence have an opportunity to cross-examine them.

However, after defence negotiations, the police conducted further investigations and re-interviewed the complainant, who produced an additional statement which raised further doubts about her credibility.

After this third statement, the prosecution agreed to withdraw all charges against our client. This was a great result, as it spared our client from having to proceed to a Contested Hearing, eliminating the risk of a guilty verdict.

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