Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers

Drug-dealing daughter of judge gets no conviction

Retired Victorian Supreme Court Judge George Hampel’s daughter Kristina Hampel has received no conviction after a sentencing hearing in the Victorian Magistrates Court. The Court heard that she had profited $3,800 from selling 10g of cocaine from her apartment in Melbourne’s exclusive South Yarra. She was also found to be in possession of a tear gas canister, and was sentenced for possession of a prohibited weapon. Her penalty was a community corrections order and 200 hours’ community service. Victorian...

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Record drug bust

Police have seized $1.5 billion worth of drugs and charged six people in Australia’s second largest drug bust on record. Three men have faced court and remain in jail while three more are due to appear on Wednesday. The haul consisted of 2.8 tonnes of drugs, including over 1.9kg of MDMA, the active component in ecstasy, and almost 850kg of methamphetamine, commonly referred to as crystal meth or ice. The drugs were concealed with furniture in a container and were intercepted aboard a cargo ship originating from...

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A bail condition banning Tinder? Gable Tostee and unreasonable bail conditions

Accused Gold Coast balcony murderer Gable Tostee has been granted bail ahead of his trial for the death of New Zealand woman Warriena Wright. His conditions include a $200,000 surety, a curfew, and a requirement, put forward by his lawyer, that he stay off Tinder. The Tinder condition could be a first. Tostee is alleged to have invited the deceased to his apartment after meeting her on the mobile dating / hookup app, then throwing her off the balcony of his high-rise Gold Coast apartment after they had an...

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Jail avoided for repeat offender

Our client was up for sentencing for a host of charges: assault occasioning actual bodily harm, severe AVO contraventions, driving while disqualified. He was a repeat violent offender, and her Honour was of the view that full time custody was the only option available. However, we persuaded her Honour to suspend the sentence of imprisonment after we spoke to a psychiatric report we tendered attesting to our client’s mental health problems.

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Facebook threats and intimidation – US Supreme Court to decide

The United States Supreme Court is to decide whether making threats in Facebook posts is a crime. Pennsylvania resident Anthony Ellis was convicted of threatening his estranged wife and served three years in a federal prison. In one post, he wrote: “If only I knew what I know now, I would have smothered [you] with a pillow, dumped your body in the back seat, dropped you off in Toad Creek, and made it look like a rape and murder”. Ellis’s lawyer in the Supreme Court proceedings has made submissions comparing the...

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Convicted murderer Brett Cowan to challenge confession evidence on appeal

Queensland murderer Brett Cowan is appealing his conviction for the murder of Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe, on the basis that his videotaped confession to an undercover police officer infringed his right to remain silent. The argument his counsel intends to raise is that his confession was involuntary, and Cowan was tricked into confessing. The elaborate covert police operation involved undercover officers acting as members of a criminal gang, membership of which required Cowan to disclose his prior...

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Kicked and costs – logbook offence

Our client, a truckie, was charged with entering a false logbook entry on the basis of the distance he claimed to have travelled in a particular timeframe. The prosecuting authority failed to take account of the time difference. Despite this clear defect in the charge and mistake on the part of the prosecutor, the case proceeded to first day of hearing, before the charge was immediately withdrawn. We successfully sought an order for our client’s legal costs.

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Defamation trial to determine whether Gordon Wood killed Caroline Byrne

A young woman’s death, a notorious, larger than life businessman, a murder trial, a successful appeal and a conviction quashed. Now another chapter: a jury of twelve will decide the truth of the imputation that Gordon Wood murdered Caroline Byrne by throwing her from the cliff tops at the Gap in Sydney’s east. Wood was incarcerated at Goulburn correctional facility in 2008 for murdering Byrne and served three and a half years before the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed the verdict in 2012, setting him free. Now...

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Charges dismissed in speeding offence – North Sydney Local Court

One of our traffic law experts, a former policeman with 13 years’ experience in highway patrol, was in his element grilling a constable during a defended hearing for a speeding offence. The constable had failed to conduct a valid speed check with the result that the charge against our client was defective. After hearing the prosecution’s case, the Magistrate found the case not proven beyond reasonable doubt and dismissed the charge against our client, without calling evidence from the defence. Our client was free...

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No conviction after unsuccessful defended hearing – attempted larceny

Our client instructed us to plead not guilty to attempted larceny, after he and a mate had been caught trying to tow away an apparently abandoned trailer. At the hearing, we argued claim of right – our client had an honest belief in his legal entitlement to the trailer as abandoned property. The Magistrate was unpersuaded by this argument and found our client guilty on the basis that he had not gone to enough lengths to find the trailer’s rightful owner. Nevertheless, at the sentencing stage, the Magistrate...

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