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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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My husband, 61 years old, is the process of pleading guilty

Customer Question

My husband, 61 years old, is the process of pleading guilty to a charge that he believes he is not guilty for under the advice of two separate solicitors... The charge is Indecent dealings with a 13 year old that is alleged to have occurred in 2010.
He received a phonecall early on a Sunday morning in April 2015, whereby a 19 year old female was crying on the phone saying she couldn't let her father hug her and asking him why he did it. He did not deny the accusation but apologised to her for feeling that way. We discussed it a lot at the time and put it behind us. In June 2015 he was charged with entering a room and touching her left breast. We then discovered the phonecall was recorded at an outer regional police station in Qld.
The legal advice to date indicates the recorded phone call is hard evidence. The statements from the girl and mother are full of holes.
It appears the Australian legal system as only two option... Pleading Guilty or not guilty. We do not have nolo conten
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

If he is not guilty of the offense, then why is he entering the plea of guilty?

Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

If it assists, I can speak over the phone to explain and discuss?
I am a criminal lawyer here in Australia.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is here with me now and so stressed about it all. Despite so many people saying to plea Not guilty, he has taken advice for solicitors that it will be easier to plea guilty, less financial and emotional distress. He has just paid $15,000 ( for guilty plea) and we have been given an estimate that it will cost $100000 - $200000 for not guilty, a jury, and drawn out for a much longer period... and if found guilty will serve longer in prison. What sort of legal system to do we have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to read a little more from you before I "confess" to hubby what I am doing right now
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to know this is legitimate otherwise I request my money back. I expected some discussion to be happening here before I pay any more money
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

This is legitimate, I am a Solicitor here in Australia, Sydney Actually who undertakes criminal law in practice, as well as gives information online here.
I need to know what he is entering a plea against what he believes to be true.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is pleading guilty to the offence that he confesses he did not do.... i.e. entering a room while the mother slept in another room and allegedly touching the girls breast in his own home (prior to us meeting). He states he never had a sexual relationship with the mother, who is known to have been with numerous men. He invited them to his house for a social evening, the adults drank some alcohol, the girls played in the pool.
The statements indicate that the mother and one other daughter went to one room, the "victim" went to another room and my husband to his room. It is alleged that he entered the 13 year olds girl, touched her breast; the girls statements states she ran from the room to her mother; the mother state they packed up belongings and left.
When he woke in the morning the guests weren't there. He tried ringing the mother several times; short communication eventually where she stated she left some clothes there and asked if they could be returned; which he did. Then 6 years later out of the blue, a phone call from the now adult "minor". which was recorded by QPS..... "the evidence"!
He does not recall any of the allegations as in the statements. He has, as per solicitors advice, received many references, who have been informed of the "charges", who have known him for 20 - 30 years, have spent much family time together with his and their children and express there deepest shock re the charges. It is expected to be heard in the outer regional court possibly 1/2/16 - as per the legal Circuit or maybe the next one.... who knows
Expert:  Daniel replied 1 year ago.

Well it still does not make it any more clearer as to why he will enter a plea of guilty?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Indictment has been presented to the District Court charging him with 1 count of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16 years"The solicitors (x 2) state that the recorded phone call is enough evidence to admit his guilt (as he didn't deny in the conversation and apologised for how she was feeling...... she also asked why did he do it.... his response was he didn't know and also he did not deny it. It is worth stating here that it was an early morning phone call, we weren't long out of bed, he had a few drinks the night before and the previous 8 months had been treated for major depression and anxiety related to work place incident..... and yet neither solicitor believed this was sufficient.Both (in two separate towns) advise by admitting guilty, there won't be a jury, if the jury hear the recording they will be biased, it will be a short time in court, his name won't go in the paper and his ageing mother will not suffer with the shock (she is not aware of it), the end will be sooner rather than it be drawn out over several years, and then possibly a 3 day trial in court and costing a lot more money. Nobody seems to be able to change hubby's mind.It appears he is damned if he do and damned if he don't. He is aware that I don't agree with him pleading guilty but I do understand why he is. He has expressed suicidality, he is under a psychiatrist and psychologist who also advise him not to plead guilty.I am a mental health practitioner and have worked with many victims of significant child sexual abuse.... this whole thing makes my blood curdle and extremely angry. I know it is wrong to say, even if he did touch the breast (which I am surely confident he didn't, and supported so much by his beautiful long terms friends) surely it doesn't deserve a jail sentence, his name to go onto sex offenders list etc etc.In a nutshell we can't afford $100,000+ legal costs with the fear that he still may be found guilty and serve a longer prison sentence - this has been the "threat" from both solicitors and I am certainly worried about his mental state... Again I state Damend if you do and damned if you don't.
Maybe we should have sought more legal advice!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do we not have anything in our legal system comparative to American nolo Contendere or Alford plea
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Daniel,
I appreciate nothing seems clear to you, so therefore I hope you appreciate nothing seems clear to us. I seriously don't know what our questions are any longer, as each time we have asked we have been given the same response .... Do you want to go through the financial and emotional trauma. So far it has cost us $20,000 with two solicitors. I've just forked out more with my just and feel that there is little help other than more costs. Please appreciate the desperation in trying to challenge our corrupt legal system when the media exhibits serious offenders getting off and yet here we are with my husband advised to admit guilty when he vows he is not and will receive a sentence. To me it's a form of perjory and I would hate to find out if he can be charged with that. If you have no advice to offer please provide me with clearer steps in requesting a refund.

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