S118 LWZ114 Criminal Law Assignment Charles Darwin University Australia

This assessment will be given a mark out of 40 and is worth 40% of your marks for the unit. The answers for both Part A and Part B combined should not exceed 2,500 words. References in footnotes do not count towards the total word count. You must use AGLC referencing. You may use headings and sub-headings, however your answers must use complete sentences.

Assessment : S118 LWZ114 Criminal Law Assignment

S118 LWZ114 Criminal Law

Part A: Approximately 1,500 words. This part is worth 24 marks.

Jane, Mary, and Frances are good friends who finished year 12 together in Darwin. Jane and Mary have recently turned 18, but Frances is still 17. One night they decide to go down to the wharf for dinner together.

At dinner at the wharf Jane and Mary each have 5 shots of spirits. Frances does not drink, and she notices that both Jane and Mary seem affected by alcohol; their words are noticeably slurred, they are talking louder than usual, and they are unsteady when they walk.

After dinner, the three friends walk to the edge of the wharf and look at the fish in the ocean below.

“I wonder if we’ll see a croc?” says Jane.

“You know that they pull around 500 crocs a year out this harbour” says Frances.

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“I read somewhere that 98% of croc deaths are related to alcohol,” giggles Mary. “So I guess you’re safe Frances.”

Mary, still suffering from the effects of alcohol, stumbles and bumps into Frances, nearly knocking her over the edge of the wharf, which has no barrier to prevent someone falling into the ocean.

Once Frances recovers from the shock of nearly falling into the ocean, she laughs and says, “Hey, that gives me an idea. Let’s do a crocodile trust exercise, like the one we did at school – just a little more dangerous.”

“Yeah,” replies Mary enthusiastically. “Jane, you stand near the edge. Frances, you push Jane, and then I’ll catch her before she falls in.”

Jane agrees, saying “Let’s do this.” She walks to the edge of the wharf, where she stands next to Mary. Frances walks up to Jane and pushes Jane with two hands to Jane’s upper body. Jane falls backwards, and at that moment Mary’s mobile phone rings. Mary reaches into her pocket and forgets to catch Jane. Jane falls over the edge of the wharf and is eaten by a crocodile.

Police later interview Mary and Frances separately, who each recall what happened as accurately as they can.

You work for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as a junior prosecutor. As you are reading a copy of the NT News with the headline ‘Drunken teen wharf brawl leads to croc death’, the investigating police officer comes to you, totally bewildered. She asks for your advice about the criminal responsibility of Mary and Frances, and what charges, if any, can be laid against them under the Criminal Code (NT).

Advise the investigating police officer. Choose three offences from the Criminal Code (NT) that you think are the closest match to the events on the evening in question. For each offence, decide whether Mary and Frances should be charged jointly or individually. Analyse the prospects for a successful prosecution of each of the three offences you choose, with reference to both the physical and fault elements of those offences. Make sure to include specific references to relevant sections of the Criminal Code (NT), and, if necessary, to any case law that may help apply those sections to the facts in this matter.

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Part B: Approximately 1,000 words. This part is worth 16 marks.

Trevor, Frank and Paul were having a night out in Darwin to celebrate Trevor’s 18th birthday, which was that day.

After staying until closing time at Monsoons, they walk down Mitchell Street towards Discovery nightclub. Trevor is carrying a stubby of Coopers Pale beer. As they walk towards Discovery, they are approached by two police officers.

Senior Constable Mark Lawrence recognises Trevor from previous dealings. “Oh, look who we have here.” SC Lawrence tells Trevor and Paul that since they are drinking in a public place, he’s going to
confiscate their beers and take them into protective custody. He then asks Trevor his name and address.

Trevor also remembers SC Lawrence and replies, “Like you don’t know who I am. The name’s Shane Warne, smart ass – and I live in the South African jungle.”

SC Lawrence snatches the beer off Trevor and grabs him by the arm. He says to his partner, Constable Curtis: “Righto. He’s given a false name, he’s behaving in an aggressive manner and I can smell grog on his breath. We’re arresting him.” SC Lawrence and Constable Curtis then lead Trevor towards the police vehicle.

SC Lawrence then says to Trevor, “But first, I’m searching you on suspicion that you have a weapon.”

Trevor breaks SC Lawrence’s grip and pushes him away using one arm to push SC Lawrence’s shoulder. “You can’t search me without a warrant,” he adds, knowing something of his rights from watching Law and Order on Netflix.

“Oh you reckon you know the law do you… well, maybe you can use your time in Darwin prison to read the Police Administration Act… I can search you without a warrant because I reasonably suspect you of having committed an offence…”

SC Lawrence then stabilises Trevor on the pavement. They search him, but don’t find anything other than a photo of Trevor’s girlfriend. They then take to him to the Darwin watch house, where Trevor declines to participate in an interview. Police refuse him bail and keep him in the watch house until the next day.

Trevor is charged with aggravated assault against a police officer (on the basis of causing harm), resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and giving a false name to police under relevant NT legislation. You are a Duty Lawyer at the Darwin Local Court and visit Trevor in the cells. “Do I have a chance, mate?” Trevor asks you. “Am I gonna have to say guilty?”

Advise Trevor on the likelihood of defending each of the charges listed above. Find the statutory basis for each of the charges above, and discuss any physical and fault elements for the charges, together with the legal relevance of police actions around the time of the alleged offences. Trevor has one prior conviction for aggravated assault from a pub fight 2 years prior to this incident. Will guilty pleas to any of the charges above trigger mandatory sentencing provisions under the
Sentencing Act (NT), and if so, what is the minimum penalty he will receive?

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