Charges: Recklessly cause grievous bodily harm x 1; Intending to procure a witness to give false evidence x 1.
Appeal type: Application for leave to appeal against conviction.
Facts: The appellant kicked his partner, the complainant, in the abdomen. The complainant was 12 weeks pregnant, and she miscarried the following morning (). There were conflicting opinions given by experts as to the likelihood that the kick could have caused the miscarriage (see -).
The complainant gave statements to the police immediately after the incident indicating that the appellant had kicked her. In the weeks after the incident, the appellant made a number of phone calls to the complainant to encourage her to lie to the police. In a subsequent statement and in her evidence at trial, the complainant claimed that the appellant had not assaulted her ().
The appellant pleaded guilty to the charge in relation to influencing a witness. The applicant was convicted of the recklessly cause grievous bodily harm charge and was sentenced to a head sentence of 5 years and 6 months with a non-parole period of 4 years.
Issues: Whether the conviction was unreasonable and unable to be supported by the evidence.
Decision and Reasoning: Leave to appeal was refused. The Court discussed the principles governing granting leave to appeal against conviction (-). The Court noted that the Crown had to prove that the kick was a significant cause of the miscarriage, not that that it was the sole cause (-). The Court concluded that it was open to the jury to accept the experts’ evidence, while conflicting, as supporting the conclusion that the kick caused the miscarriage ().