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QLD Husband with No Criminal Record Charged for Indecent Dealings - Perjury?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Leally36, 19 December 2015.

  1. Leally36

    Leally36 Active Member

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    My husband, age 61, with no past criminal record, a loving and caring man and well respected by friends and family, is in the process of pleading guilty to a charge he believes he did not do. Indecent dealings with a minor in 2010, touching a girls breast. He received a phone call in April 2015, which unbeknownst to him, was recorded at a police station AKA the evidence, where he did not deny and apologised to the now 19-year-old girl who was sobbing over the phone. He said he was sorry she felt that way. I was there during the phone call. He was still waking from his sleep, we had partied the night before and he was being treated for depression and on antidepressants and sleep medication. We discussed the phone call, the event and didn't think about it anymore.

    However, in June 2015, he was collected by police, put in watchouse until he was interviewed. At which time, he still didn't understand the process, didn't seek legal advice and was charged.

    It is now coming to an ugly head. After two independent legal representatives, he has been advised to plead guilty, even though he has stated he didn't do it. But the phone call is enough, despite inconsistent statements from the victim ( which was made June 2014) and the mother (made November 2014).

    A plea of guilt will only cost about $20,000 for legal representations, no jury, his name not in lights in the local media and hopefully a soft sentence. Our law states he must serve a prison sentence unless there is extenuating circumstances. If he pleads not guilty, the estimated cost is $100,000 plus a long drawn out trial which will be the gossip of an outer regional town in Queensland, a jury and possibly longer sentence if still found guilty. Either way the financial cost is unwelcoming and the emotional trauma is indescribable.

    My question relates to if he pleads guilty to something he believes he didn't do, is this perjury? I can't seem to find anything comparable to American law where they have Alford or nolo contendere.

    If he pleads guilty and potentially go to jail, it is my understanding the victim can also take him via Civil Action.

    I am requesting that it be recorded in his file with solicitor that he is pleading guilty, but have it recorded that he doesn't believe he didn't but can't afford the emotional and financial trauma to plead not guilty and is extremely worried about the impact on his ageing mother and his children (who are not aware of the issue).

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    I would seriously be looking at getting another opinion from a criminal lawyer. If the video statement was taking without his knowledge then it could be seen as wrongful means of obtaining evidence and would not be inadmissible in a trial.

    See Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You to be connected to a local criminal lawyer.
     
  3. Leally36

    Leally36 Active Member

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    Thank you for your feedback. I have already challenged this. The legal advice informs us the recorded phonecall is evidence to use as the other person gave consent for it to be recorded by the police.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Firstly, forget American law - it will do your head in.
    Secondly, I never, ever recommend pleading guilty when in fact the person is innocent.

    Courts can allow into evidence genuine ruses used by police, but are reluctant to indulge petty trickery.
    That said, I agree with @JS79 - this is job for a criminal lawyer.

    You will need to speak to your lawyer about the prospects of suppression orders and similar,
    but there isn't much to be done about old biddies (of either gender) gossiping.
    Understand however that there is no right to privacy of the kind you might wish for.
     
  5. Leally36

    Leally36 Active Member

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    Hi again,

    Well, the nightmare is worse. Hubby pursued with the guilty plea, we had a good solicitor, good barrister and even the prosecutor was barracking for him.

    We had hoped the massive amount of extenuating circumstances would have assisted with suspended sentence, or the worst in our head 1 month, but the sentencing was heard on 4/2/16 and he is currently in a watch-house waiting for room at one prison to be processed for transfer to be closer to me.

    His supports and I have again gone through the "victim" and mother 's statements and also his phone records (they were kept for tax purposes) and so many more holes are seen.
     
  6. Leally36

    Leally36 Active Member

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    Sorry having trouble with editing.

    The judge sentenced to 9 months, (3 months in prison, the 6 months probation and 18 months parole). Naturally you can appreciate my distress. The judge drew out his exemplary character, his high reputation, all the community work, made note of the psychiatric report, his current medical condition, no other charges, nil persistence, but an unsigned victim impact statement and the pre text recording weighed more to the judge.

    I have always suspected that the whole alleged incident from 2010 was set up by the mother. The girl is now an adult who states in her impact statement she has not undergone any counselling or therapy.

    We were informed at some stage that there is a risk of a civil action. What does this really mean? If she was to sue him what amount would she be looking at.? This could mean we would further lose and potentially our home

    If the civil action was to follow is there any way to go back in time and have the case reopened and open up the ugly lies?
     
  7. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    Dear Leally36, sorry to learn about your problems - it sounds awful. Unfortunately, once he had plead guilty and have been sentenced it is very difficult to change his plea and/or re-open the case, unless there was some exemplary circumstances. You can, however, appeal for a reduced sentence if you believe it was too severe.

    In the event of civil action - were you informed what they will be suing your husband for? For civil matters, the other party will need to engage their own lawyers, unlike a criminal matter which is funded by the state. Depending on their financial circumstances they may not pursue it. Depending also on what they may be suing your husband, be mindful of the statute of limitation - it applies to civil matter usually 12 months from incident. Considering your circumstance, I'd suggest one thing at a time - ask your solicitor about appealing the sentence.
     
  8. Leally36

    Leally36 Active Member

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    Thanks, Beanie,

    The appeal is currently underway and currently awaiting if he will be released on bail in preparation for the appeal. His affidavit was lodged 2 days ago and new lawyer indicated that there is a very high chance of approval, but everything works at a snail pace.

    Can anyone give an estimate time frame when Appeal bail application is heard in Qld court system and what happens then?

    The plot has thickened following a phone conference with previous legal representation when I challenged him in why he never once considered recommending a plea of not guilty with all the supportive evidence provided, in which case he denied being informed of any evidence. The barrister during this phone conversation stated that if he was aware of evidence he would not have pursued a guilty plea ie. Phone records at the time of incident are inconsistent with statements, my man had recently suffered nervous breakdown 3 months prior to pretext call and was on sedatives and anti-depressants, the early morning pretext phone call, the lawyer was requested many times to review her Facebook profile, and that lawyer had quoted $100,000+ if to plead not guilty. There were 3 witnesses at this initial meeting ie, my partner, myself and best friend.

    I know it's too late, but I remain so angry and untrusting with our corrupt legal system

    Today marks 5 weeks since incarceration and my eyes have become wider opened. In that time he has had 2 nights in a bunk bed, the rest of the time sleeping on a 2 inch thick mattress on the floor 1 foot away from the cell toilet, he has been bashed sustains facial fracture, he is almost 62yrs old, has had excruciating pain in hip and back impacting mobility, 3 migraines (probably from lack of sleep and stress), denied any form of analgesia, denied a transfer to a prison closer to me (it's 8 hours drive away), there are no programs (as depicted on web page), denied a job because of "short sentence", the only activity is walking the oval or gym when available but due to pain has had little, and 15 minutes bible study at 5:45 pm.

    It confuses me how they can call these places Correctional Centres.... To me, it's the archaic prison / jail.

    The more precedent cases I read the more I realise our system is corrupt, unfair and unjust
     
  9. beanie

    beanie Well-Known Member

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    Dear Leally36,

    I am so sorry about everything. I want you to know that you are not alone in the way you feel about the system, including the situation with lawyers. Certainly no lawyers are suppose to recommend a guilty plea nor should anyone plea guilty if they are not. Nonetheless most people are not strong or wealthy or informed enough to be fully aware of what they had plea themselves, guilty or not, into until it is too late. I trust you had learnt this the hard way.

    I am not a lawyer nor have any understanding of appeal systems and timeline in QLD, so I apologise for not being able to give you any such advice. I just want to offer some moral support and hope that you are taking care of yourself in this difficult time and somehow find the strength to be positive about the future. When you next have legal representation, be sure to be firm about what you want, and not be dictated by what is the 'easier' or 'cheaper' option. Remember you and your husband are the ones who have to live with the outcome, not your lawyers.

    All the best.
     

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