DNA EVIDENCE IS NOT ALWAYS THE FINAL WORD

A man charged with three counts of endangering the lives of occupants of a house by firing shots into the residence in a drive-by shooting where police relied on DNA evidence has been found not guilty after a recent trial in the District Court. Witnesses to the offence identified the car involved as belonging to the accused man, and when it was searched less than an hour later, gloves were located on which gun powder residue was identified. The gloves were also analysed for DNA material and the sample obtained contained a mixed profile from...

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NO CONVICTION – ITS NOT ‘UNUSUAL’

A case involving a traffic charge does not have to be ‘unusual’ for a Court to refrain from recording a conviction. Recently, a man was charged when a car he owned was driven unregistered and uninsured. He was told by a Magistrate that his case was not unusual and therefore he would have to receive a fine equivalent to the expiation fee and a conviction. On appeal to the Supreme Court it was held that the Magistrate had made an error in the way that a Court should deal with the question of whether or not to impose a conviction. The...

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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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