The Downing Centre is the busiest court complex in Sydney.
It has heard the cases of many high-profile figures over the years; from Justice Marcus Einfield, to Matthew Newton, Jodhi Meares and Freya Newman.
Cases in the Downing Centre are as varied as the thousands of defendants who find themselves within its walls each year.
So the case of an unknown teenager doing a nudie run wouldn’t seem to rank amongst the Centre’s most illustrious moments – but just such a case has hit the news headlines.
Eighteen-year-old Victorian Jack Mascitelli recently appeared in Downing Centre Court for stripping naked and running through the streets of Byron Bay for a free kebab.
Police located the teenager hiding in, where else but a kebab shop. He was arrested and slapped with a $500 fine, making the ‘free’ kebab anything but.
However, Mascitelli didn’t want the fine to tarnish his reputation, so he took the matter to court, hoping to receive a better outcome.
Mascitelli had to travel from Victoria to the Downing Centre to answer the charges.
And the Presiding Magistrate certainly didn’t see the funny side of the dare, calling Mascitelli a “goose” and sternly lecturing him about the inappropriateness of his conduct.
Mascitelli was also rhetorically questioned about why anyone would want a kebab at 8:45 in the morning, saying that he thought kebabs were something eaten at night (perhaps His Honour has never worked up an appetite after partying all night).
But Mascitelli was fortunate when it came to the penalty; he was given a “non conviction order” after His Honour noted his remorse and acceptance of responsibility. This meant that no criminal conviction was recorded against Mascitelli’s name, and the fine of $500 was wiped ways.
As a law and commerce student, Mascitelli was relieved about the outcome. But the Magistrate warned the youngster that his actions could have jeopardised his legal career.
The nudie footy runner
Not all those found guilty of public nudity get off so easily.
In fact, one man, Wati Holmwood, was sent to prison after he streaked through a rugby match held at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. This wasn’t a first offence for Holmwood, who had already breached two good behaviour bonds.
What does the NSW law say on nudie runs?
Although nudie runs are often seen as a bit of fun, this is not how the law perceives such behaviour. Nudie runs amount to ‘obscene exposure’ – an offence under section 5 of the NSW Summary Offences Act which carries a maximum fine of $1,100 and / or imprisonment for up to six months.
But it looks like Mascitelli will avoid any future temptation or penalty, after declaring on Twitter that his days of nudie runs are over for good.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence and have to appear in Downing Centre Court, it is a good idea to speak with a criminal lawyer to find out your options and the best way forward.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is located across the road from the Downing Centre and offers a free conference to those who are going to court.