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NSW What can Victim of Assault Do Under Criminal Law?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by JR5454, 16 July 2016.

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  1. JR5454

    JR5454 Member

    16 July 2016
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    Below I have provided details of the events I am seeking help on. I have left out real names etc. The event happened in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. I have replaced my friend's name, the person who I am seeking the help on behalf of, with the name Jane. Please bear with the comprehensive description of events, but they have been provided to assist you in giving your help.

    I am pleading for somebody to help here. On the 1st of July a very close female friend of mine was assaulted by a taxi driver. We are not in a relationship but I have known her many years. The assault happened at 3am on July 1st 2016. Both Jane and her friend took a taxi home that night, and after dropping that friend off Jane continued her taxi journey home. Some time later she woke on the road, bloodied, she called the police; the taxi driver had viciously assaulted her.

    Though she had no bones broken the list of her injuries make an upsetting reading. Her last memory is of the cab driver shouting at her outside of the cab. Jane works as an aged care nurses assistant. She is one of life's good people and is a very caring person. She was viciously assaulted by the taxi driver and has not recovered physically or mentally from that assault.

    On the night of the assault, the police spoke to her friend, the person she had dropped off before she continued her journey home in the cab. That person, a bank employee, had paid with her credit car and on the night of the assault was able to let the police know the name of the taxi company, she also was able to provide the police a transaction ID.

    On Saturday the 2nd of July Jane called the police to find out if they had found or arrested her assailant, they informed her that hey hadn’t done so. The constable in charge of the case arranged to visit Jane to take a statement on Tuesday the 5th of July.

    On Tuesday the 5th of July Jane called the constable to find out what time they were calling and the constable explained that he would not be able to make it and rescheduled to visit Jane on the 9th of July. Jane asked the constable if he had managed to track down the taxi driver through the credit card payment information provided to him on the night of the assault, he said that he hadn’t but would when he was finished speaking with her. He also told her that he would not be at work until the 9th of July which is when he would take her statement.

    The police constable dealing with the case called to Jane’s apartment on Saturday the 9th to take her statement, a female officer also attended. While taking Jane’s statement the constable confirmed that he had contacted the taxi company and identified the driver, but that he had yet to speak with him. Jane was very very upset.

    During the course of taking the statement, the constable told Jane that she should not expect a good result as it would be most likely her word against the taxi driver’s. Jane asked about the cab’s CCTV. The constable said he did not know the circumstances surrounding the storage of the CCTV, nor did he know the details relating to the management of the possible footage. He said he would follow it up. During the course of taking the statement, the constable regularly asked the female constable if he was “doing it right” and if he had “asked all the correct questions”. At the end of taking the statement, the constable said that he would contact the taxi driver in the next 48 hours and that he would keep Jane updated.

    While leaving the apartment the constable mentioned he’d been on holidays between the 5th and 9th of July and that that is why the taxi driver had not been spoken to.

    Jane received no call from the police in the 48 hours following them taking her statement. 3 days later, on Tuesday the 12th of July, Jane called the constable for an update and was told he was on his days off. Today, Saturday the 16th of July, Jane called the constable again, this time, she spoke to him. He told her that he had not made contact with the taxi driver.

    The constable explained to Jane that the taxi driver was operating out of a different command area than the constable was stationed, and he had to hand over responsibility for contacting the taxi driver to another officer in the taxi driver’s local command area.

    Jane asked for the details of the officer who would be dealing with the case in the taxi driver’s local command area, the constable told her he would not provide her with that information as he was her point of contact with the police. The constable told Jane that he was the officer in charge of her case and that nobody else would follow the case up in his absence. He explained that this was procedure.

    Jane voiced her concern for her safety, and the safety of other women. The constable told her that she should not be concerned, and that, in any event, the taxi driver's number plate had been flagged on the police’s number plate recognition system. He further explained that if any police car drove past the taxi driver’s car, the number plate recognition system would alert the police, and that the taxi driver would be stopped and held for questioning.

    Jane feels that she has been abandoned. From my uneducated stand-point the police are making a complete mess of this. I believe that they have people's best interests at heart but I cannot reconcile this belief with their lack of the recent actions. I feel that if it was a police commissioner’s daughter, policeman’s sister, or somebody of note, that the taxi driver would have been identified and questioned on the night of the assault and definitely by now.

    Handcuffed by not knowing what to do next, and failed by an inadequate system. I have turned to your criminal law help. I don’t know what assistance is available here and I have looked at 1800 respect, but they seem to focus on domestic violence and counselling as opposed to advocacy and action.

    Can you please assist us with this? I hope we can locate an advocate and or a legal person that will light a fire up the police’s arse, and who will do whatever else it takes to get Jane the justice she deserves, while also removing this scum from a place where he could do this to another woman.
  2. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

    21 February 2016
    Likes Received:
    Hi JR5454,

    I'm not a solicitor, but I have experienced something like this.

    Sorry to tell you this, but the police are brushing you off. I see you already suspect this.

    They don't actually want to pursue the matter. It's not that they have made a mess of it, it's that they decided it won't go forward.

    They should have taken a statement asap and should have then proceeded to interview the taxi driver/collect CCTV.

    They are required to keep victims informed of progress, but never advise you when they are dumping something. Can't make contact with the taxi driver? FFS. Operating in a different area, can't drive over to his house? Fiction. BS. Lies.

    How to get them to take it seriously? Dunno. I was unable to get them to act properly (charge my attacker), but I made formal complaints and they eventually stopped the person from coming near me.

    I suggest if she wants something done, she needs to escalate the matter out of that station... IE. Speak to someone in charge of the district or area. It is probably the officer in charge of that station who has decided to drop it.

    But I'm not optimistic. Sorry to bring bad news.

    I hope this helps,


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