Criminal Law

Charges of theft, assault and unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle dismissed

Tony Beach’s client was charged with theft from a person, assault and unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle. At the judge-alone trial, the judge dismissed the charge of unlawfully interfering with a motor vehicle as the police had failed to summons their civilian witness in sufficient time for the hearing; the police conceded that they had insufficient evidence to proceed with the theft charge, which was then dismissed; Tony Beach then applied for the assault charge to be dismissed under s147 of the Criminal Procedure Act as there was insufficient evidence of identity of the defendant on which a judge could find beyond reasonable doubt that he had committed the assault. The judge agreed and dismissed that charge as well.

Blackmail charge amended


A defendant was referred to Tony Beach by a solicitor. The client was charged with blackmail, a serious charge attracting up to 14 years imprisonment under the Crimes Act 1961. After considering the evidence and taking full instructions from his client, Tony Beach successfully negotiated an agreement with the Crown to amend the charge to an offence under the Telecommunications Act 2001, attracting up to 3 months imprisonment. After hearing submissions from Tony Beach, the judge ordered the client to come up for sentence if called upon in 12 months – a ‘good behaviour bond’ – together with a modest emotional harm payment to the victim.

Appeal to the High Court successful

Tony Beach’s client pleaded guilty to a raft of charges and was sentenced to two years imprisonment.  However, the client instructed that the decision be appealed to the High Court.  The appeal was based on the grounds that the judge should have imposed home detention.  After considering written submissions and hearing extensive argument from Tony Beach the High Court agreed that a sentence of home detention was appropriate.  The sentence of imprisonment was vacated and a sentence of ten months home detention was imposed.

Charges of using a forged document and obtaining by deception dismissed

A client was charged under the Crimes Act 1961 with using a forged document and obtaining by deception.  The client had assisted a family member in his dealings with Work and Income.  There was evidence that the family member was, to some extent, mentally impaired.  Other members of the family brought accusations against Tony Beach’s client to the attention of the Police and the charges followed.  After a trial before a Judge alone, the Court found, after carefully considering all the evidence, that both charges were not proven beyond reasonable doubt, and were dismissed.