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Hutchins v Lachlan [2012]

19 June 2012
The decision in Hutchins v Lachlan [2012] WADC 89 handed down. I represented a victim of an assault on an appeal by the perpetrator of the assault to the District Court against an Assessor’s award of the statutory maximum of $75,000. The perpetrator, a bouncer at a Perth Bar, argued that the victim had remained on premises after being told to leave, and thus was committing an offence s115(6) of the Liquor Control Act 1998, which precluded him, under s 39(1)(b) of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 2003,  from claiming compensation for his fractured jaw. The appeal was dismissed on the basis that the Commissioner was not satisfied that Mr Lachlan had remained on the premises for a sufficiently long time to have committed the offence. While our client was successful, this case is an example of how the decision in Re Her Honour Judge Schoombee; Ex Parte Attorney General For Western  Australia [2011] WASC 23 has opened a door for perpetrators of crimes (and the State) to avoid paying compensation where a victim is committing a trivial offence at the time of the assault.


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