Tag Archives for " Serious Assault "

Oct 30

Australian security guard dies after one punch

By ste7en8 | International Security

An Australian man has died in hospital due to a serious assault he received whilst working as a security guard in Caboolture, a town and suburb in Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia. 

A 30-year-old man is assisting police with their inquiries following the serious assault of a male security guard inside a shopping centre in Caboolture on the 9th of October.

The incident occurred at around 1.40pm when a male (30), threw a chair at a shopfront in the King Street shopping centre before being approached by a security guard Charles Lewis (38).

The 30 year old man is alleged to have punched the 38-year-old security guard Charles Lewis in the face, with enough force causing him to fall backwards and strike his head on the ground local police have said. 

Caboolture security guard Charles Lewis, 38, has died after allegedly being punched.

Caboolture security guard Charles Lewis, 38, has died after allegedly being punched.

The victim Mr Lewis had suffered severe head injuries as a result of the one-punch and was transported to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition.

The 30-year-old man was taken into police custody in Caboolture.

Sadly, Charles Lewis has succumbed to his injuries and has passed away on Tuesday 27th of October at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital due to his injuries.

The 30 year old male was initially charged with serious assault, grievous bodily harm, wilful damage and contravening a domestic violence order.  

What is a Domestic Violence Order?

A domestic violence order (DVO) in Australia is an official document issued by the court to stop threats or acts of domestic violence.

A DVO sets out rules that the ‘respondent’ (the person who has committed domestic violence) must obey. It is designed to keep the ‘aggrieved’ (the person who has had violence against them) safe by making it illegal for the respondent to behave in specific ways.

A DVO is a civil court order so it does not appear on an individual’s criminal history.

However, it is a criminal offence to disobey an order, and this will appear on the respondent criminal history.

It is now understood that local prosecutors will seek to upgrade the criminal charges to Manslaughter following the victim’s death.

The 30-year-old man who was charged by police has been remanded in custody and will reappear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on November 25.

The offence of manslaughter and penalty in Queensland.

Section 303 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) (the Criminal Code), provides that a person is guilty of manslaughter when that person unlawfully kills another person in a way that does not constitute murder.

In more general terms, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person without intent to kill, usually as a result of a careless, reckless or negligent act, and includes the intentional killing of a person under extreme provocation or when a person’s state of mind has impaired their capacity to understand or to control their actions. In Queensland, the maximum penalty for manslaughter is imprisonment for life. Unlike murder, this penalty is not mandatory, so the judge has discretion in what sentence to impose in the particular circumstances of each case.


Apr 03

Spitting or coughing at frontline retail staff and security operatives

By ste7en8 | Corona Virus

There has been a  number of reported incidents in the media around the world of people deliberately spitting and coughing at retail staff and security operatives at retail stores during the Corona Virus pandemic.
This legal blog will pertain to acts 'carried out' as to differentiate between an act threatened and a physical assault carried out. 
A separate legal blog has been written on the subject of threatening behaviour and would be prevalent if the reader started with that separate legal blog first and then move onto this legal blog for further clarification.

There are two basic legal issues at hand during the coronavirus pandemic and people who spit or cough at those on the frontlines such as key workers in NHS, Police, Retail, Security Operatives. 

Statement from Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Any reported person who deliberately endangers life, or causes fear and alarm by pretending to do so, including by coughing on or spitting at someone, will be dealt with robustly by Scotland's prosecution service.
Scotland's prosecution service will take action to protect public safety at all times and has a range of responses available to tackle unacceptable criminal conduct that may arise during the coronavirus pandemic.
Coughing on or spitting at someone, depending on the circumstances, may be an assault or constitute the crime of culpable and reckless conduct. It is difficult to imagine a more compelling case for prosecution in the public interest.
COPFS is working closely with Police Scotland to ensure the continued effective investigation and prosecution. of crime, properly addressing criminal behaviour that threatens public safety and the safety of our emergency workers.

Friday 3rd of April 2020

What is assault in Scots Law?

The basic definition is “An assault is an attack on the person of another”. The crime of assault consists of a deliberate attack on another person with evil intent. Proof of evil intention, in the sense of intending to cause physical injury or fear of physical injury, is essential. Injuries caused accidentally or carelessly aren’t assaults. Weapons may or may not be involved. Injury may or may not result. So, menaces or threats producing fear or alarm in the victim are assaults.

The legal term used to describe victims of crime in Scotland is 'complainer'.

As is evident in law a complainer does not need to actually contract the coronavirus, just the mere threat of it occurring whenever a person spits or coughs in the face of another person and thereafter claiming to have the virus is prevalent to arrest and charge for serious (aggravated) assault.

Assault to injury can be committed by;

  • severe injury
  • injury of the person
  • permanent disfigurement
  • the effusion of blood
  • the danger of life
  • cutting and stabbing

The corona virus and attempted transmission from one person to another through an attack of coughing or spitting deliberately at another would clearly be held as an aggravated crime which is to say that it is clearly a serious assault and any civilian can carry out a citizen's arrest. Those on the frontlines such as security operatives protecting shop staff from daily abuse will face such incidents now face this very risk of serious and potential attempted murder charges.

Deliberately coughing or spitting on or at someone during the Coronavirus pandemic is likely to be charged as an 'aggravated assault' meaning that it is a more serious form of assault than a basic assault charge due to the severity of the Covid-19 virus and the likelihood of transmission which has the potential to cause the loss of human life.

What is culpable and reckless conduct?

There are a number of ways in which culpable and reckless conduct can be committed and a few of these have been highlighted as below for clarification. Culpable and reckless acts causing injury to others or created risk of injury would meet the definition.

A broad range – extending ‘assault’ – which also causing injury.

There are two ‘general’ offences

1. Reckless Injury

  • recklessly injury a person.
  • Unintentional - but objectively reckless

2. Reckless endangerment

  • Reckless behaviour...which is objectively dangerous to others.

Divergence of Assault and Reckless injury

  • Assault is a crime of intent – evil intention
  • Cannot be committed recklessly; carelessly; negligently

There are different ways in which reckless conduct may become criminal under the Scottish legal system. Reckless conduct to the danger of the lieges (public) will constitute a crime in Scotland and so too will reckless conduct which has caused actual injury.

The standard of recklessness is the same in both statutory and common law crimes.

The test is entirely objective. It is open to the trial judge, in charging the jury to adapt the judicial test.

In legal terms the phrase is "conduct or activity was such as to betray an utter indifference for the safety of the victim or the public

Reckless conduct can be committed in a number of ways.

  • reckless driving
  • the conduct or activity was such as to betray an utter indifference for the safety of the victim or the public
  • Buying alcohol for a minor who became seriously incapacitated by consuming it is culpable and reckless conduct
  • Physical force or restraint that is excessive and causes injury 

Where the accused is charged with a common law offence involving recklessness, the Crown requires to prove “an utter disregard of what the consequences of the act in question may be as far as the public is concerned” or, “a recklessness so high as to involve an indifference to the consequences for the public generally”.

As an expert witness and a door supervisor with over 32 years active service I can think of no better charge for individuals who spit or cough 'at or on' our NHS staff, Police, Retail staff and Security Operatives who are standing on the thin blue line as one and as key workers protecting our local communities