Charges: Breach of temporary protection order x 1.
Appeal type: Appeal against conviction.
Facts: A temporary protection order was made naming ACP as the respondent and MP as the aggrieved. Condition 4 of the order provided that ACP must vacate the family property, and condition 5 allowed ACP to return to the property to collect belongings in the company of a police officer (). The order did not specify the time by which ACP must vacate the property, but ACP gave evidence that the Magistrate said that ACP must vacate the property ‘straight away’ ().
MP returned to the property 3 days later, to find ACP loading belongings onto a truck. ACP had not yet vacated the property (-). ACP gave evidence that he understood the order to mean that he could vacate the property himself, and only needed police attendance to return to the property ().
The bench charge sheet did not set out the particulars of which condition of the order the defendant was alleged to have contravened (), contrary to s 177(4) of the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act 2012 (Qld) ().
Issues: Whether the temporary protection order was uncertain in its terms.
Decision and Reasoning: The appeal was allowed, and the conviction was set aside.
Judge Horneman-Wren SC concluded: first, that the charge was not adequately particularised; and second, that the order was uncertain in its terms. First, the charge sheet did not inform the defendant of the factual ingredients of the offence (). Second, even though the order did not provide a timeframe within which ACP was to vacate the property, the Magistrate stated that ‘the order is quite clear on its face and I am satisfied that the appellant was aware that he was to get out straight away’ (). This was an error because ‘straight away’ was not incorporated in the condition ().