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VIC Is Assault with Weapon a Criminal Charge?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Linda Hell, 26 July 2016.

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  1. Linda Hell

    Linda Hell Member

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    Hi there.

    I am confused with a situation that occurred with my daughter. She was assaulted by 2 girls at a night club. They hit her over the head with a bottle, kicked and punched her. She was knocked unconscious and security guards had to drag the girls off my daughter. She ended up with a black eye, a split to the head & various cuts and bruises over her body.

    After being sent to hospital, my daughter went to the police and made a statement. Six months later, the police sent a letter saying there wasn't enough evidence to proceed further. They said that tahe 2 girls said my daughter slammed a door into them and this is why they bashed her. This wasn't the case but the police said as it was 2 against 1; they felt they could do no more.

    My daughter was hit from behind with the bottle. The girls had no injuries. There were 2 witnesses, one was my daughter's friend who was too scared to make a statement. The second was a bystander who also gave the same version of events my daughter did. Now the police say they don't have the 2nd witness statement.

    Even without this, though, as the girls used a weapon, shouldn't this be considered as a serious offence To use self-defense as a reason for an assault, I would have thought that the bashing was still excessive and that the girls would have had to have some type of injury for the police to believe my daughter deserved such a bashing.

    Is there any time where such an assault is warranted?

    I was always under the belief that an assault with a weapon was always a criminal charge. Am I wrong? Is it right that the police not prosecute when there is such an assault?

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,
     
  2. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi Linda,

    I'm not a solicitor. I don't think the weapon automatically means a charge, I think it means the sentence can be more serious (aggravated assault).

    Let's consider what you have posted:

    A girl is injured and says she was assaulted. Hit with bottle, kicked, punched.
    Two girls say the first girl slammed a door into them.
    There was a witness who gave a statement, but police say they don't have it now.
    The police now say not enough evidence.

    Did the police:

    Get a statement from the bouncers? (Who probably saw the girls fighting?)
    Get a report about the injuries?
    Seek CCTV recording from the venue?
    Did they get a statement from the witness you spoke about in the first place? Or did they lose it?
    What have they done in the six months till now? When did they last actually work on this?

    So in a 2 vs 1 fight, the 2 girls knock 1 girl unconscious and send her to hospital in self defence? Self defence is reasonable force only. There may be 1 statement for and 2 statements against, but the facts don't support one version do they.

    The police have a responsibility the collect and preserve evidence when a crime is reported.

    My guess is that they didn't investigate this properly in the first place. That they haven't done a thing about it for 5 and a half months.

    The evidence would have been there, if they had wanted to get it. They probably decided they were too busy. Just another fight in a nightclub.

    I suggest you make a formal complaint.

    Regards
     
  3. Linda Hell

    Linda Hell Member

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    Hi Gorodetsky,

    Thanks so much for your reply. Everything you said I have questioned.

    I just didn't want to put it all in the initial post. I have made a formal complaint. I've gone to professional standards, I have even taken it to IBAC who appeared very interested then decided not to proceed. Now I have asked the police to meet with me to explain how this can be the outcome. I am not prepared anymore to say who the 2 girls were that assaulted my daughter, but let's just say that the police were more worried about upsetting the families of those who assaulted my daughter as opposed to what is right and wrong.

    My daughter has suffered depression, anxiety & acrophobia because of this assault. Now neither of us want so much for the girls to be recharged, we are more concerned with why the police didn't do as they should. My daughter has lost complete faith in the police and the justice system, which for me is so sad as I have always raised her to be a law-abiding citizen and told her the police would protect you providing you tell the truth and do right by the law.

    Now it appears this isn't the case. More to the point no one appears to care about what happened to my daughter. I am considering taking it to the media, but first I want to meet with police and the dpp that felt there wasn't enough to do anything. Then I'll go for FOI and then to the media.

    I was mainly trying to ascertain if I wasn't seeing things as I should and you have pretty much agreed with me. There are too many unanswered questions and, in the end, it's my daughter who has suffered and the two girls have got away with assault. I even have a snapshot of them mocking the situation one asking the other if she wants her to bash someone and the other girls response is laughing faces. This was a week after the assault. It's appalling and I can't let it rest.

    A lot of people have said let it go, but I believe in justice and I hate injustice. Sadly our legal system appears to be full of it.

    Thanks again for your reply. Any help would be appreciated.

    Regards, :)
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately your experience with police ineptitude and or laziness is all too common.

    Admittedly I think the politicians have some blame short staffing active police numbers and the amount of paperwork police need to complete just because some career police at HQ can claim they are on top of crime is mind boggling.
     
  5. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi Linda,

    OK, so you've already made the formal complaint...good for you, the blinkers are off.

    You are getting a meeting where the explain it to you...good. Take a smartphone, record the whole meeting.

    This time they'll tell you the cost of the prosecution is the reason, "not a serious assault, not in the public interest to pursue such a costly prosecution, when the alleged offenders are so obviously remorseful".

    They'll say they are not obliged to uphold the law....lots of BS. if you can afford it, take a solicitor with you. They'll be able to cut thru all the BS, but the cops probably won't say anything if you do take a solicitor. I found the cops are not required to provide any explanation for their decisions, so, if there is a solicitor, they may choose not to give any reasons.

    They'll tell you lots of lies. I took the opportunity to really rub a senior Sargent's nose in it. Tell him how to do his job. Point out how he was wrong about really basic police stuff.

    Afterwards, the recording can be useful for a reporter. Practice with your smartphone in advance, make sure you can record for 4 or 5 hours.

    Regards
     
  6. Linda Hell

    Linda Hell Member

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    Hi Rod and Gorodetsky,

    Thanks both for your reply.

    Yes, Rod I agree that most times the polices hands are tied because of the laws they too need to follow. It saddens me that I can see a police person on the road every couple of hours to collect money for the government, yet when something happens to law abiding citizens they don't have the resources.

    I am 52 years of age and when I was young police were there to serve and protect. Now it appears they are there to just collect...revenue! I also have always believed that you need to stand up and be counted and by doing this it may just help the next person...passing it on as they say.

    We live in a crazy world where it's more about who you are and how much money you have rather than right and wrong. This drives me crazy. Sometimes I wish I could just walk away from things, but I am like a dog with a bone and I don't give up until I get some type of satisfactory outcome.

    The knock backs from PS & IBAC have only made me more determined to get answers. I am lucky that I am not easily intimidated and will stand up and be counted where needed.

    I think your suggestion of a smartphone is a great help and I was planning this. I don't think I'll take a solicitor as I do want get the police to speak, so it would kind of defeat the purpose if they shut up.

    My experience with police is one of arrogance, so both the police person and the DPP will believe they can manipulate and intimidate me and I'm sure will say things that proves they chose not to do anything for my daughter because it would cause them more work and lots of upset. I have emailed the senior sergeant 2 days ago and as yet no response. He may be on leave but then again he may just want me to go away...I won't. I won't be meeting with them until sometime in August if it does go ahead as I'm off overseas on Sunday. I'll let you know the outcome of the meeting if it does go ahead.

    Thanks again for your help and if nothing more making me feel that I wasn't seeing things through rose coloured glasses. Much appreciated.

    Cheers
    :)
     

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