Our client was charged with indecent dealings with a child over 13 years but under 16 years under section 321(4) Criminal Code. The accused was the child complainant’s step father. The child accused the step father of various touchings. The step father denied the allegations. The complainant’s mother argued with WA Police Sex Abuse Squad against charging her husband, but as policy dictates the charges were prosecuted.
Our Legal Advice
Upon meeting the accused at criminal-lawyer-perth we were immediately impressed with his calm demeanour. We went through the Statement of Material Facts with him and the elements of the offences. In response, he provided a logical and consistent account about his history with his three step daughters, one being the complainant. He instructed from the very beginning the complainant simply never got on with him. He had recently had cause to chastise her about her behaviour at school and outside of the home. Shortly after that detectives arrived at the accused’s home and preferred the above charges. The accused protested his innocence and upon that we advised the accused that a plea is entirely a matter for an accused person, we can only provide an accused with advice from which they can elect to plead guilty or not guilty. The accused instructed that he would plead not guilty.
Acquittal At Trial
The trial went for three days whereupon the jury retired to consider their verdict on the afternoon of the third day. After an hour of deliberations the jury returned verdicts of not guilty on all counts. The client was understandably relieved by the result, but recognised that it had caused a permanent wedge between him and the complainant, not to mention the complainant and her siblings and mother.