Keys v West [2004] NSWSC883

In this matter Greg Walsh acted for a Mrs West who had been discharged pursuant to s19B(1)(d) of the Crimes Act, 1914. This provision provided that in effect she was discharged without receiving a conviction.

The police informant made an application to the Supreme Court seeking to set aside the decision of the Magistrate. It was argued that the Magistrate did not have the power, as a matter of law, to discharge Mrs West pursuant to the provisions of the Crimes Act, 1914 (Cth).

The Supreme Court in dealing with the application made a number of observations as to whether the Magistrate did have the power to deal with the matters as he did in the Local Court. It was argued on behalf of Mrs West, that the initial recording of a conviction was done ex parte and clearly she did not even known that she had been charged, let alone convicted. It was argued that ‘conviction’ amounted to no more than a mere recording of guilt. Such that the Magistrate was not precluded in dealing with the matter in the manner which he did. (See Kinney v Green [1992] 29 NSWLR 137).