Man Charged with Common Assault in Election Poster

A man has been charged with common assault after an alleged altercation with a Liberal Party volunteer.

The incident happened in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales following the removal of a political sign.

The complainant was a 53-year-old man who had his wife and young daughter in a car at the time of the assault.

Incident on political signage

53-year-old Liberal volunteer Kevin Birch said he was driving in the town of Lawson when he saw a man removing a corflute. Mr Birch told police he approached the man.

Officers said an argument ensued between the pair over the removal of a sign by Liberal candidate Sarah Richards.

Another man reportedly pulled over in a nearby car and intervened by assaulting Birch.

Liberal NSW Senator Hollie Hughes called the incident unacceptable.

“A 53-year-old man who had his wife and 12-year-old daughter in the car was violently attacked. This kind of violent behavior has no place in Australian politics,” she said.

“The tone of this campaign has certainly been concerning when you look at some of the assaults that have taken place, but also the vandalism that we have seen happening across the country. It’s absolutely disgusting, this kind of behavior, and it has to be said for what it is.

Charged with common assault

A 25-year-old man was arrested and charged with common assault and assault causing actual bodily harm during the incident.

He was released on bail and is due to appear in Katoomba local court in June.

Officers said investigations are continuing and they are looking for the man who allegedly removed the corflute.

The incident follows a trend of political signs defaced and removed ahead of the federal election.

Police are also investigating reports that a poster of Greens Senate candidate David Shoebridge was torn up and stomped on by a group who appear to be wearing Liberal campaign gear. It is believed to have happened at Wentworth’s headquarters in Sydney.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has revealed that a special task force will investigate allegations that campaign posters of some independent candidates have been tampered with in breach of election laws.

Additionally, campaign materials from independent candidates, including Zali Steggall, Sophie Scamps and Georgia Steele, have reportedly been edited to suggest they are Greens.

Common assault charges in Sydney

A first offense of common assault will generally be treated more leniently by the court. A list of 10,728 common assault conviction cases in local court suggests you will be much more likely to receive a Section 10 dismissal if you have no criminal record.

However, there are still a large number of individuals who are convicted for their first offence.

Although it is ultimately up to the magistrate or judge to determine what domestic violence sentence you will receive, there are sentencing statistics that can be helpful in providing guidance. We obtained a list of 27,618 local court cases which provides a range:

  • Dismissal under Article 10: 27%
  • Fine: 15%
  • Security section 9: 41%
  • Community Service Order: 3%
  • Section 12 suspended sentence (no longer used for NSW offences): 5%
  • Intensive Corrections Order: 1%
  • House arrest: 0%
  • Full-time imprisonment: 6%

Although prison is a possibility, only 6% of offenders are sentenced to full-time imprisonment. More importantly, the overwhelming majority of offenders have been convicted of this offence. The conviction rate is increasing for domestic violence charges for common assault. Contact us now so we can help you avoid a criminal conviction.

Section 61 of the Misdemeanors Act 1900 (NSW) states that common assault is an act by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes another person to apprehend immediate and unlawful violence.

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