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Criminal Law Blog NSW

Questioning the prosecution evidence

In all criminal prosecutions for assault, the most basic evidence that the prosecution must present is the positive identification of the accused. The complaining witness must testify that he or she knows the assailant because of a relationship with the assailant who may be a family member or a significant person in the victim’s life.

If the accused is a stranger and not personally known to the complaining victim, the victim must still positively identify the assailant. In the courtroom, if the victim cannot positively identify the assailant, then the victim must provide proof of facts by which the assailant can be identified.

If the identity of the assailant is not positively established then it will be impossible to link the identity of the assailant with the person of the accused. This raises reasonable doubt that it was the accused who committed the assault. This means that although there may be no question that the assault occurred; the question is raised as to whether it was truly the accused who committed the assault.

The accused may also prove an alibi. An alibi is a legal defence that consists in evidence that proves that the accused could not have committed the assault as he was at a different place at the time that the assault occurred.

To successfully prove this defence, the accused must pay close attention to the prosecution evidence of the particular date, time and place where the assault occurred. And then, when it is the turn of the accused to present evidence he can show that at the particular day, date and time that the assault occurred, the accused was elsewhere.

To successfully establish alibi as a defence it is not enough to prove that the accused was elsewhere when the assault occurred. The accused must also prove the physical impossibility that he could have been at the scene of the assault as he could not be in two places at one time.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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