Court of Appeal Success – Conviction Overturned in Queensland
Last week, Jones + Associates were successful in the Queensland Court of Appeal, which overturned the conviction of a man who was convicted of four counts of rape and three counts of indecent treatment of a child.
Shortly after coming into the matter, and after his conviction, it became apparent that the appellant was seemingly suffering from cognitive issues. As such, Jones + Associates obtained multiple expert reports which demonstrated that the Appellant was suffering from a major neurocognitive disorder, which was likely to have been impacting him at the time of his trial.
Further evidence was obtained demonstrating the appellant’s mental state had been deteriorating prior to trial. There became a real question as to whether the Appellant was fit to stand trial at the relevant time.
In appeals concerning fitness for trial, it would a miscarriage of justice if an accused had gone to trial and been convicted when he may not have been fit to stand trial and provide proper instructions to lawyers.
It was conceded by the Crown that the new evidence demonstrated that the appellant may not have been fit to plead and stand trial. As such, there was a real and substantial question to be considered about the appellant’s fitness, and that a miscarriage of justice had been established.
In the circumstances, the Court order the appeal be allowed, the convictions be set aside, and a new trial be ordered.
Whilst disappointing and frustrating that the Appellant stood trial whilst unfit and subsequently spending significant time in custody awaiting appeal – the team at Jones + Associates are proud at playing a part in correcting the result and achieve a positive outcome for the client and his family.