Trial Practice

Peter has significant experience in defending individuals charged with serious criminal matters. He appears for private clients as well as legally aided clients. He is on the NSW Legal Aid Complex Criminal Matters panel for barristers. He has appeared as advocate in numerous Local Court hearings and District and Supreme Court trials for offences such as general fraud and dishonesty, taxation, finance fraud, money laundering, proceeds of crime and offences committed by directors and other corporate officers charged with offences by ASIC.

Due to the serious nature of these offences, many of these cases have been high profile and received considerable attention from the print and electronic media. Some notable trials or appeals in this regard have been:

Regina v Jenkin [2018] NSWSC 978. Represented Mr Jenkin who was charged with the “body in the bathtub” murder of the deceased and conspiracy to murder of a Crown witness. The trial proceeded before Hamill J in the Supreme Court as a judge alone trial. Mr Jenkin resided in Mangerton in the Wollongong area and befriended the deceased who was an alcoholic.  The Crown case was that Mr Jenkin injured the deceased by homicidal act of violence with the precise mechanism of death being unknown. There were numerous tendency evidence witnesses called by the Crown to give evidence but cross-examination of each of those witnesses proved that their reliability and truthfulness was open to question. Ultimately, none of the tendency evidence was relied on to determine whether Mr Jenkin was guilty of the offences.  Because the body was left in the bathtub to decompose for 8 days and due to the body being placed in a surfboard bag which was then thrown from a two storey building there were complex issues to be resolved as to what injuries were inflicted prior to death as against being inflicted at the time of, or after death.  Mr Jenkin was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter by reckless indifference or gross negligence causing death in that Mr Jenkin failed to contact medical assistance at a time when he ought to have known that the deceased might die.

Romero v DPP (NSW). Represented Mr Romero in an assault matter (ADVO related). This appeal was to a single judge of the Supreme Court and challenged the jurisdiction of the magistrate to hear the criminal matter at the same time as the ADVO proceedings. The Supreme Court agreed that the Local Court magistrate was in error and that, as a matter of law, those proceedings were separate and distinct and the magistrate could not hear both matters together. Costs were awarded to Mr Lowe’s client.

Police v Maatouk. Represented Mr Maatouk, a well known Sydney lawyer who was charged with a number of fraud and related offences regarding a Picasso lithograph and late model BMW sedan that was taken from his suburban legal practice by armed robbers. The car was later found having been torched. Following a 9 week trial, Mr Maatouk was acquitted of all charges.

Regina v Kessing. Represented Allan Kessing who was charged in relation to the leaking of two confidential reports about airport security to the Australian newspaper which had published the reports and garnered sensational publicity in doing so. Following the reports being published the government announced a major review of security and policing at Australian airports. Despite a jury verdict convicting him of leaking the reports he received a suspended sentence which involved a 9 month good behaviour bond being imposed.

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