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My legal matter concerning an application for a Domestic Violence Order was managed by Mr Thomas Allen. I am grateful for the outcome he obtained. Without Mr Allen and his ongoing support, I would be certain of a different result. It has been an extremely stressful period. Mr Allen’s astute ability to liaise on my behalf and his expertise was invaluable and for which I am grateful as I am now able to move forward. Thanking you
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Armstrong Legal and specifically Mr Thomas Allen for representing me in my recent case. At the outset, I would like to thank Mr Allen for the very professional delivery of his legal service. From the first time that I met Mr Allen, I was very impressed with his demeanour and delivery as he made me feel at ease knowing the severity of my case. Mr Allen not only gave me the possible positive outcomes of the case but also the realisation of the worst-case scenario as far as sentencing goes. … I will certainly be recommending Armstrong Legal to any of my friends or family needing representation in criminal matters. Thank you so very much.
Thank you for your representation and help. Fingers crossed for the next step and parole. I just want to say that from the first phone call to your office, your service has been outstanding and have put my mind at ease. I am glad I picked your number to ring.
Thank you Armstrong Legal, the lawyers that have helped over the past 3 years but more importantly, thank you to Thomas Allen for the major part you and Mr Buckland played. Cannot thank you enough. Cheers.
Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Tendency and Coincidence Evidence (Vic)
Tendency and coincidence evidence, also known as propensity or similar fact evidence, is evidence that a person has a tendency to commit certain acts, based on the fact that they have done similar acts before, or that it is likely that an accused committed multiple acts based on the similarity of multiple allegations. Tendency and coincidence evidence is often adduced where an accused allegedly committed child sex offences on multiple occasions. It often consists of evidence from other alleged victims that they have been assaulted by the accused or evidence of prior convictions for similar offences or evidence of other illegal conduct with which the accused has not been prosecuted, such as ‘grooming’ children.
Evidence may be adduced that because an accused engaged in sexual acts with a small child, that he has a tendency to do so, or that he is alleged to have assaulted two children in so strikingly similar circumstances that it is unlikely to be a coincidence.
The tendency rule
Under Victorian law, evidence of the character, reputation or conduct of a person or a tendency that they have a particular state of mind or has acted in a particular way is admissible in a criminal proceeding only if:
- The party seeking to adduce the evidence has given the other parties reasonable notice in writing of their intention to adduce this evidence;
- The court considers that the evidence is likely to have significant probative value;
- The court considers that the probative value of the evidence substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect.
These matters are set out in sections 97 and 101 of the Evidence Act.
Legal scholar Steven Odgers sets out the features relevant to determining whether evidence is more probative than prejudicial in his book, Uniform Evidence Law in Victoria and this list has been reproduced by the Victorian Supreme Court.
These features are:
- The number of occasions the conduct occurred;
- The time gap between the various occasions;
- The degree of similarity between different occasions;
- The degree of similarity between the circumstances on different occasions;
- Whether the tendency evidence is disputed;
- The issue to which the tendency evidence is relevant.
In a case where a party proposes to adduce tendency evidence involving multiple complainants, the evidence will be inadmissible if there is a ‘reasonable possibility’ that there has been collusion, concoction or contamination between the complainants.
Coincidence evidence is evidence that there have been two or more events when the evidence is adduced in order to establish that the accused did an act or had a state of mind based on the assertion that the similarity of the events makes it unlikely that they were a coincidence.
Coincidence evidence will be admissible only if the party seeking to adduce it gave the other parties reasonable notice in writing of their intention and if the court thinks that the evidence is likely to have significant probative value (Evidence Act, Section 98).
There are two types of coincidence evidence. Firstly, where two or more events have occurred under circumstances where the conduct is ambiguous. The similarity of the events can be used to pursue an argument that it is unlikely they occurred accidentally or coincidentally and that they were, in fact, the result of the accused’s criminal actions.
Secondly, where there is evidence that two or more similar allegations were made under circumstances where it is implausible that the complainants have independently to make similar yet false allegations against the same person. In this situation, the similarity of the allegations leads to the conclusion that the evidence of the complainants is the truth.
As with tendency evidence, coincidence evidence is inadmissible if there is a reasonable possibility of concoction or collusion among the witnesses.
Tendency and coincidence
In many cases, the same evidence can be relied on as both tendency evidence and coincidence evidence. For example, where two sexual assault complainants give evidence that the same person assaulted them, this could be adduced as tendency evidence (ie. If the court is satisfied that person A is telling the truth, this establishes that the accused has a tendency to commit sexual assaults and therefore, it is likely that he sexually assaulted person B) or as coincidence evidence (ie. it is unlikely that two independent persons have made similar false allegations against the same individual). The prosecution will usually choose to pursue the stronger of these arguments, rather than running both tendency and coincidence.
If you need legal advice about a criminal matter or any other legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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