Charges: Making a false accusation x 3; Public mischief x 6.
Appeal type: Appeal against conviction.
Facts: The defendant and ‘EK’ had been in a relationship. After the relationship had ended, the defendant made allegations to the police that EK had sexually assaulted her, had followed her in his car, and had broken into her house (-). The police made investigations, but eventually determined that the accusations were false ().
At trial, the prosecution relied upon the following evidence to show the defendant’s tendency to make false complaints: the fact that there were many allegations supported the inference that each one was false; a complaint of sexual assault made by the defendant against a neighbour when she was 17; and three other allegations made by the defendant against EK’s family (, ). The defendant was convicted of two counts of making a false accusation and three counts of public mischief (for wasting police officers’ time). She had not yet been sentenced.
Issues: One issues was whether the Magistrate correctly applied tendency evidence.
Decision and Reasoning: The appeal was partially upheld. Justice Refshauge found that the Magistrate applied the tendency evidence incorrectly for two reasons.
Note: this case was subsequently remitted to the Magistrates Court for retrial before a different Magistrate, see Parkinson v Alexander (No 2)  ACTSC 290 (9 October 2017).