Crime

The sentencing judge found that it was established beyond reasonable doubt that the respondent, after finding out that Flick was pregnant, that the course of terminating the offspring by any means in his power, either consensual or otherwise was going to be taken and was part of his thought process during the course of Flicks pregnancy up to the events on the 20th of August 2002. Mens Rea in this case concerning a guilty mind in regards to King has been proven by the actions that led to the assault.

It has been stated before the court that King sought an abortion upon the beginning of the pregnancy, determining his disagreement towards the life of the child, and his outlook towards the future of the pregnancy, also being emphasised during his conversations involving Jessica Williams and Brianne McCarthy offering them a payment of $500.00 if they would ‘bash’ Flick as long as it resulted in the death of the baby. His honour concluded that this course of actions was evident in his previous actions, therefore proving a guilty mind. * Actus Reus

Actus Reus was proven quite simply by the admittance of the accused, and also reinforced by his plea to the courts as guilty. * Causation The Crown has taken a look at a number of documents that have noted statements from medical staff that tended to Flick after the assault occurred during her stay at Bankstown Hospital. According to Dr Duflou the stillborn was a consequence of the assault that King had inflicted on Flick. He confirms the crime by his statement, “The foetus was macerated, consistent with demise on or about 20 August 2002….Microscopic examination of tissues identified areas of bleeding in the placenta consistent with having been present for a number of days. Given the history, it appears likely this bleeding occurred at the time of the alleged blunt force assault to the abdomen.” Causation is therefore proved by the medical examinations that took place, determining that the death of the foetus was caused by the respondants actions.

Factors that might have led to the criminal behaviour The accused and Ms Flick had previously engaged in a single act of consensual intercourse resulting in Ms Flicks pregnancy to Mr King’s child. King advised Flick to get an abortion and terminate the child but Flick refused. This led to the crime where King punched her in the stomach, causing Flick’s baby to die. This background information gives evidence to the belief that King did not support Flicks decision to keep the baby, and refused to allow her to give birth to it. The crime that King has committed is an act that clearly stated his desires and that he had no intention of parenting a child, even if the pregnancy was a consequence of his actions and the irresponsibility of neglecting to wear appropriate protection that could have made it possible to avoid such a decision.

In the interviews that were concerning King, he states that Flick threatened to ruin his life with the birth of their child previously, and also stated the he was angered by Flick as she was smoking during their conversation and suggested that Flick was also threatening to tell King’s current girlfriend about the baby. These occurrences led to the assault according to King. It was set before the sentencing judge that the accused had been intent on terminating the baby by either consensual or non-consensual means.

In conclusion, the main factor that led to the indictable offence in question has been recognised to be something as simple as self-interest. King didn’t desire any children from the union between himself and Flick. The realisation and the fact of her pregnancy contradicted his own wants, and the crime committed was a result of Kings desires to abort the foetus.

Reporting and investigation of the crime During the length of the court, to proceed with sentencing, investigation occurred to determine on how serious the crime was on a physical and emotional level to both the accused and the victim. The hospital and professionals examined the placenta, and diagnosed the cause of death to the foetus. There was also an interview concerning the events, how it occurred and the emotional effects of the violence towards Flick. King was also examined and cross examined, as were two other people who claimed to be involved in a threat towards the foetus’ life.

The Daily Telegraph printed articles referring to the case of R v King on the 26th of June, 2009. The titles read ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and ‘Baby killer’s day out from prison to go shopping’. These articles are reports of the progress of Kings time in prison, and account the outrage of the victim and those concerned towards his allowance out of prison prematurely.

The roles of the courts Concerning this case, it began in the Lower Courts where a committal hearing was held to decide whether enough evidence was presented and if it was a prima facie case. This was proven, and the indictable offence progressed to the Supreme Court of New South Wales – Court of Criminal Appeal Decisions. During the length of this case, the Supreme court took into account all evidence available and made a decision regarding the future of the respondent Phillip King.

The role of legal representation Much of society is unfamiliar with the complex inner workings and jargon of the legal system in Australia, so the role of legal representation is to assist citizens that are in need of such advice or representation by a professional that is an expert in such situations that require advice and defence of their rights and best interests, also insuring a fair trial.

The plea King plead guilty to the crime he was accused of. The evidence Flick presented in the form of her injuries and previous conversations reinforce the ill will against the foetus sustain evidence against him was too compelling, and a plea of not guilty would have resulted in a conviction regardless, but he would not have the advantage and the possibility of a discount in the sentence.

The factors that affected the sentencing decision The sentencing judge came to the conclusion that in the process of determining an appropriate sentence for the respondent, certain aggravating factors should be considered such the death of the foetus. Also, the attitude the community towards offences like these are considered and taken very seriously. Precedent in cases previously prosecuted were also a factor influencing the sentencing decision.

The penalty given His Honour concluded that the respondent should only be given the lowest discount regarding his sentence due to precedent in the case of R v Thomson & Houlton. This decision was concluded due to the occurrence of the continued facts that were disputed which led to the cross-examination of Ms Flick, Ms McCarthy and Ms Williams. The utilitarian value was noted, and approximately 15% was the maximum discount the court could allow for the plea of guilty.

Originally, King was sentenced 10 years imprisonment, including a non-parole period of 6 1/2 years. Re-sentencing occurred and King was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 years, with a non-parole period of 8 years. This penalty is the result of malicious wounding with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The extent to which the law balances rights of victims and offenders During court proceedings, both the defendant and the victim’s rights were analysed and incorporated into the sentencing. His age was taken into consideration by the crown, as was his health and mental issues. These issues were disregarded by the crown as no sustained brain injury from his youth impacted on the offence, but it observations from his mother and the psychologist was taken into account. At the time of the offence, King was 19. It has been noted, but due to the gravity of the crime, the sentence must reflect the community’s attitudes to such violent and serious acts that have affected people in their own homes.

In defence of the victims’ rights, it has been stated by the sentencing judge that; ‘’it must be remembered that it is an important role of the law to act so as to so far as possible, protect citizens in our state and punish those who cause injury to them.” This quote is a direct reference to the defence of Flicks rights concerning her own protection which has been violated by the defendant.

Flicks emotional state after such trauma was analysed as she was interviewed about the effects of the attack, as well as her attitude towards losing her child. These accounts were taken into consideration to determine the extent of harm was caused upon her and her wellbeing. The sentencing given to King was a reflection of the depth of harm caused, and society’s depiction of a fair outcome. Flicks rights were protected, as King was taken to prison for his grievous actions.