Man bargains with police over alleged serious assault offence
A man who stands accused of a serious assault charge says he wants to bargain with the prosecutor in hopes to downgrade his charge.
James William Couzens fronted the Roma Magistrates Court on Tuesday, March 2, and is charged with one count of assault occasioning serious bodily harm.
The defendant told Magistrate Peter Saggers that he did not believe he caused actual bodily harm to the alleged victim, and said the charge should be downgraded.
The matter was originally adjourned to March 2, as he was seeking video footage from police of the incident.
“They (police) had trouble downloading and showing me the footage,” Couzens said.
Police prosecutor sergeant Heather Whiting said officers were eventually able to provide Couzens with CCTV footage of the incident.
“I’ve left messages with Springfield Police Station, where I did a recorded interview, but I haven’t heard back from them,” Couzens told Magistrate Saggers.
“I don’t know what to do … I want to contest it or downgrade the charge.”
The Magistrate advised Couzens that he was required to email sergeant Whiting immediately and indicate whether he would be pleading guilty to the offence or ask whether they would consider downgrading the charge to common assault, for example.
“I’m happy for you to contact the court … in the meantime progress the matter, ask for things you are saying are outstanding, or if you think the charge should be downgraded, put that to the prosecution,” Magistrate Saggers said.
The baffled defendant told the magistrate he was confused about what to do next.
“You do seem to be confused; I get that … But if you don’t believe you assaulted a man and caused bodily harm and plead not guilty then you will either go before a judge or jury in the Magistrates Court but you need to make those decisions and inform the court,” Magistrate Saggers said.
The matter was adjourned until next month.