JEWELLERY – OR A $10,000 KNUCKLE DUSTER?

Photographs of Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg were shown to a Court in defence of a man charged with possessing a knuckle duster when police seized his 9 carat gold two-finger ring valued at approximately $10,000 to $15,000. The solid 9 carat gold item measured 70mm long and 40mm wide with openings for two fingers and the letters “F”, “I”, “N” and “K” embossed on top covering almost the entire face. The police officer who seized the item concluded that it was a knuckle duster on the basis that he considered it had been designed to...

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INTERVENTION ORDERS IN TROUBLE – POLICE EXCEED THEIR POWER

The Supreme Court has overturned a finding of guilt against a man charged with contravening an intervention order on the basis that the order made by police prohibiting him from ‘entering or remaining in the vicinity’ of specified premises was invalid. The intervention order was made in favour of the man’s former wife following their separation and after an incident in which the wife alleged that he had trespassed on property and assaulted her. Those charges went to trial at which time the Magistrate rejected the...

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GUILTY FOR WALKING HIS DOG?

The Court of Criminal Appeal has set aside a verdict of guilty in a case in which the prosecution were relying on the fact that the person accused of robbery was in the vicinity on the same morning, that like the robber he walks around with his dog, and that he was of a similar appearance to the robber. Police had produced CCTV footage depicting the robber and despite the fact that the Judge who heard the trial was of the view that the facial appearance of the accused man was similar to that of the person in the video footage, the Court of...

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WHEN A SUCCESSFUL DEFENDANT IS ENTITLED TO COSTS

The exercise by an accused person of the right to remain silent when interviewed by police should not of itself be the basis for the police to avoid paying legal costs if the charges are dismissed after that person gives evidence in Court. In a recent case before the Supreme Court a woman who had been charged with theft appealed the decision of a Magistrate to refuse to order that the police pay her legal costs after the charge was dismissed. The woman had been apprehended by a security guard at a Foodland store after she had gone through the...

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