Court Did Not Buy Police Story and Dismissed Charges
Author: Phillip Gibson
Liverpool Local Court
Represented by Solicitor: Phillip Gibson, Accredited Specialist Criminal Law
Case Facts – Our client faced 2 charges of sell or knowingly take part in the sale of a pistol. This offence is extremely serious and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a standard non-parole period of 10 years. These offences are also “strictly indictable” which means that they cannot remain in the Local Court and must ultimately be finalised in the District Court.
The police did not recover the pistols allegedly sold and based their case upon telephone intercepts. We uncovered several deficiencies in the prosecution case and listed the matter for a Local Court committal hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence to commit our client to stand trial in the District Court. Our aim at all times was to have the charges dismissed
Case Result – The complexity and technical nature of the Firearms Act 1996 places heavy burdens upon the Police to establish each element of the offence. We thoroughly dissected the prosecution case with reference to the specific requirements of the legislation. We demonstrated to the court how the prosecution case failed to satisfy each element of the offence. The Magistrate agreed with our submissions and discharged our client in relation to both counts of sell pistol. The co-accused was not so fortunate. He was represented by another firm of lawyers and pleaded guilty to the same allegations.
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