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SA Pretend Assault for YouTube Video

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Roger Wilkinson, 19 March 2015.

  1. Roger Wilkinson

    Roger Wilkinson Active Member

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    Hi there,
    Yesterday, a couple of friends and I were filming a video for our YouTube account. The ultimate goal of the video was to increase the insight on how crucial it is to break fights apart early before one becomes seriously injured which could therefore negatively affect them for the remainder of their life.

    We created a fake human (dummy) to assault in the proximity of surrounding members of society, a lot of people did nothing, however the experiment climaxed when a man began to threaten us and furthermore, continued to do so even after he realised it wasn't a real scenario. His wife had called the police and ambulance, stating that we killed a man and attacked him additionally even though he was dead. However, we were unaware of this call at the time. And as we were packing up to leave, we see sirens blazing, two police cars and two ambulances.

    We jokingly uttered, "imagine if they were coming to save the dummy" and moments later, that's exactly the predicament we found ourselves in.

    The Police began questioning us, we told them what we were doing and that we were sorry for the unanticipated inconveniences we have caused. We made sure they knew we had good intentions behind what we were doing, which would ultimately contribute to the betterment of society. Two of them were fairly nice, however the one in charge was being quite arrogant.

    I can't remember what we were charged for but they ended up taking our DNA & interviewed us. They also told us we will have a court summons.

    1) Are we completely guilty in this scenario?

    2) Is it possible to get my cameras back before I attend court?

    The reason I undertook this idea is because my brother was beaten up by 5 men with golf clubs and was severely injured, many people did not intervene which ultimately worsened his condition. It's a shame that a man kicking a fake dummy caused more controversy than 5 men committing assault against a real human with golf clubs.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Have you received any paperwork from the police? Do you know what you have been charged with?
     
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Completely sympathetic to your plight!

    However until you receive the court papers saying what law you are deemed to have broken it is not possible to give any advice.

    The various police forces around the country seem to have lost the experienced senior sergeants with a common sense approach to policing :(

    BTW, next time you want to do something like this, go visit your local cop shop and tell them what you are proposing to do. Not saying you need permission, but if they have any strong objections at least you'll know what you are dealing before the event and not afterwards.
     
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  4. Roger Wilkinson

    Roger Wilkinson Active Member

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    Thanks for responding,

    I had a mental blank whilst writing this thread, I do now remember, we are being charged for creating false belief.



    "belief " means a belief or suspicion that --
    (a) an offence has been or is about to be
    committed;
    (b) human safety is or may be endangered;
    5 (c) human life has or may have been lost;
    (d) property is or may be endangered;
    (e) property has or may have been destroyed;
    (f) there is a fire that needs to be put out,
    and that is of such a nature as would reasonably
    10 call for action by the Police Force or by
    emergency services.
    (2) A person who does or omits to do any act with the
    intention of creating a false belief is guilty of a crime
    and is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.
    15 Summary conviction penalty: imprisonment for
    12 months and a fine of $12 000.
    (3) A court convicting a person of an offence under this
    section may order the person to pay all or some of the
    reasonable expenses of or incidental to any action that
    20 was reasonably taken as a result of the offence,
    whether or not by the Police Force or emergency
    services.
    (4) The order must specify the person or persons to whom
    the amount is to be paid.
    25 (5) Part 16 of the Sentencing Act 1995 applies to and in
    respect of an order made under subsection (3) as if it
    were a compensation order made under that Part.
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    OK. So according to your post this is an offence under the SA Summary Offences Act 1953.

    Check the court paperwork if the section you have alleged to have broken is 62A.

    62(a) (1) says: A person who intentionally creates a false belief that an offence has been committed, or that life has or may have been lost or is endangered, is guilty of an offence.

    The key word here is 'intentionally'. Sounds like you did not intend for the police to be called. The onus is on the police proving you intentionally wanted them called.

    You appear to have a good grounds for getting off. BTW, makes sure that you apply for costs against the police if you succeed in your defence. Winning costs helps deter police from frivolous court actions which at face value seems to be what is happening here.

    Wait till you get the full brief from the police so you can see what evidence they will present to the court. Make sure you have your own emails/txts detailing what you were doing and why.

    Also write up your own notes NOW, while events are fresh in your mind. Try to remember conversations word for word and write it down NOW.

    Even if costs are awarded to you, you will be unlikely to recover all your costs. Recommend you see a lawyer.

    If the section is NOT 62(a) of the SA Summary Offences Act 1953, best let us know what it is.

    And next time, talk to the police first to save yourself time and money.
     
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  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Interested in knowing from a legal eagle in here if mens rea (guilty mind) applies to this type of offence and this is not one of strict liability/absolute liability.

    I have assumed mens rea is a defence but not 100% sure.
     
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  7. Roger Wilkinson

    Roger Wilkinson Active Member

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    Thank you for the help Rod

    Would intentionally fall under us intentionally creating the scenario to which the Police were unintentionally called?
     
  8. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    No. It is as the wording says "intentionally creates a false belief that an offence has been committed ...."

    The police need to prove that you intended for a 3rd party to think an offence has been committed.

    It is clear a 3rd party did think that an offence was being committed, but did you deliberately set out to make someone think that while you were filming?
     
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  9. Roger Wilkinson

    Roger Wilkinson Active Member

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    Yes, the basis of the experiment was to lead people to believe it was a fight, to therefore gather numerous outcomes and to furthermore reach an average of how many people are willing to intervene on an assault while it matters - early.
     
  10. Roger Wilkinson

    Roger Wilkinson Active Member

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    However, I did not intend for the Police to be called.
     

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