There’s never a shortage of interesting and high-profile cases in the Downing Centre courthouse in Sydney.
Let’s take a look at a few that have played out in the last few weeks.
Former Socceroo Mark Bosnich
Former Socceroo Mark Bosnich was charged with reckless driving after he collided with a cyclist, but he managed to escape getting a criminal record.
The incident began when Bosnich was driving through Sydney’s CBD and a cyclist moved into the middle lane. Bosnich wound down his window and said: “champ, you gotta pull a little to the left, you can’t keep in the middle of the road.”
The cyclist broke off Bosnich’s side mirror before an angry Bosnich turned his steering wheel towards the cyclist. The grill and bumper of his car collided with the bike wheel, causing the cyclist to sustain minor injuries to his ribs and elbows. It was later revealed that the cyclist was three times over the legal blood alcohol limit.
Bosnich pleaded guilty to reckless driving but was fortunate enough to avoid a conviction and licence disquaification. His lawyer told the court that Bosnich was remorseful and his reputation had already suffered through being shamed by the media.
He was placed on a one-year good behaviour bond under ‘section 10’, which means that he avoids any further consequences as long as he commits no further offences for 12 months.
34-year-old X-factor judge Luke Jacobz faced a magistrate himself earlier this month after being charged with mid-range drink driving. His blood alcohol reading was 0.116 – more than double the legal limit of 0.05. Jacobz told the media that he was extremely remorseful for his conduct.
The incident occurred the morning after a big night of drinking with friends, which is a common way for drivers to be caught out drink driving.
The matter has adjourned until July 15, when Jacobz is expected to enter a plea of guilty.
In March this year, blaring headlines introduced us to Jessica Silva, a woman who escaped prison after being convicted of manslaughter.
Ms Silva had killed her abusive boyfriend, James Polkinghorne, when Polkinghorne came to her home while high on ice and threatened her. A jury found Silva guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, and she received a two-year suspended sentence.
Now it was Jessica’s brother Miguel’s turn to face the court, but for a completely separate incident.
Miguel was charged with being an accessory to the murder of a drug dealer who, it is suspected, was murdered by Polkinghorne. The body of the drug dealer in question, Nikolas Argiropoulos, was found in Leichardt Park after having been shot repeatedly in the face.
Earlier this month, Silva was found not guilty by a jury in the Downing Centre District Court.
The juror who flirted with the defendant
A jury trial was just about to end, when a Court Shefiff noticed that the jury foreperson was flirting with the defendant.
The juror, a woman in her 20s, was seen flicking her hair, smiling, raising an eyebrow and nodding in a potentially suggestive manner at the handsome defendant.
As a result of the flirtatious conduct, the Downing Centre District Court Judge discharged the whole jury and listed the case for a fresh trial.
The reason for this drastic move was that His Honour was unsure that the juror could do her job impartially, and that this might affect the ultimate verdict.
He told the court that “discharging a juror for flirtatious behaviour is fortunately not something that happens all that often.”