Author Archive for Aston

Woman Ordered To Pay Neighbour $120k For Suggesting He Was A ‘busybody’

A Manly woman has been ordered to pay a former neighbour $120,000 for suggesting he was a “busybody” during an email dispute about unlocked mailboxes in an apartment complex.

Gary Raynor was awarded $90,000 in damages and $30,000 in aggravated damages after a NSW District Court judge found he was defamed by former neighbour Patricia Murray.

Mr Raynor’s lawyers claimed a 2017 email written by Ms Murray suggested he was: “a small-minded busy body who wastes the time of fellow residents on petty items”.

Manly resident Gary Raynor was awarded $120,000 in damages today. (9News)

He also claimed the email suggested he harassed her, acted menacingly and sent malicious emails to humiliate her.

Ms Murray had sent the email to the 78-year-old and other residents, to ask him to stop emailing her about locking her letterbox.

“To avoid further harassment, I’ve not replied to your provoking mailbox emails. However, your consistent attempt to shame me publicly is cowardly,” Ms Murray wrote.

Amid reports of thefts from mailboxes in the area, Mr Raynor had sent a number of emails to residents as chair of the Strata committee of the building.

Mr Raynor’s lawyers claimed a 2017 email written by Ms Murray suggested he was: “a small-minded busy body who wastes the time of fellow residents on petty items”. (9News)

Email spat between Manly residents leads to $120,000 defamation payout

An elderly man who headed the strata committee of a Manly apartment building has been awarded $120,000 in damages after a court found he was defamed by an email from a fellow tenant that implied he was a “small-minded busybody” wasting residents’ time on petty matters.

Gary Raynor, 78, sued his fellow tenant, Patricia Murray, over a May 2017 email she sent to Mr Raynor and their neighbours in which she asked him to stop emailing her about locking her mailbox.

A strata committee wrangle at a Manly apartment block has resulted in a significant defamation payout.

“To avoid further harassment, I’ve not replied to your provoking mailbox emails,” Ms Murray said.

“However, your consistent attempt to shame me publicly is cowardly. It is also offensive, harassing and menacing through the use of technology to threaten me. Please stop!”

The NSW District Court heard Mr Raynor had sent Ms Murray a number of emails noting that her mailbox in the building had been left open and requesting that she keep it locked.

This included an email on May 24, 2017, in which he said: “As your mailbox has again been open for the last few days it is obvious I have not been able to convince you of the seriousness of this issue.”

The court heard there had been reports of gangs stealing mail in the area. Mailboxes in the building were broken into twice, starting in April 2017.

Mr Raynor believed the culprits may have been able to cut a “master key” by examining the lock on Ms Murray’s unlocked mailbox.

In her email on May 25, Ms Murray said: “Your assertion/s that a single unlocked mailbox has allowed a criminal milieu to stalk the … [apartment complex], and spend the time necessary to copy barrels/locks in order to then construct a master key is farfetched [sic].”

She described Mr Raynor as having a “fixation on this issue” and suggested that, in light of his “email hobby”, he might consider getting sensitive documents such as banking statements sent via email rather than in the post.

Lawyers for Mr Raynor said the email defamed him by implying he was a “small-minded busybody who wastes the time of fellow residents on petty items” concerning the building, and that he “unreasonably harassed” and “acted menacingly towards” Ms Murray by “consistently threatening her by email”.

They also alleged Ms Murray’s email suggested Mr Raynor was a “malicious person who sent threatening emails to the defendant and copied in other residents” to publicly humiliate her.

District Court Judge Judith Gibson found those meanings were conveyed and Ms Murray had failed to establish a defence to any of them. This included defences of truth and honest opinion.

“It would be fair to say that every sentence of the defendant’s email in reply struck a blow at the plaintiff, and was intended to ridicule and humiliate him in every way,” she said.

She found Ms Murray’s evidence was “coloured by exaggerated language, groundless suspicions and hostility”.

Judge Gibson found there was no evidence Mr Raynor had sent emails directed specifically to Ms Murray to other residents, although one was sent to her real estate agent. Two emails about mailbox break-ins were sent to all residents.

Judge Gibson noted Mr Raynor “had difficulty entering the witness box” during the hearing in February, “as he had to use two walking sticks”.

Judge Gibson awarded Mr Raynor $120,000, including aggravated damages, plus legal costs.

Lawyer, Hugo Aston Acted For Mr Lysaght

A man who has pleaded guilty to using an internet dating site to groom a child for sex has said at his sentencing hearing he did it partly because he was feeling neglected by his wife.

Jeremy Lysaght is awaiting sentencing for grooming an underage girl on Filipino Cupid.

Jeremy Paul Lysaght, 43, has admitted he began speaking to women on dating site Filipino Cupid in 2015, including one who was under the age of 16.

Lysaght told the Sydney District Court he believed he had an alcohol problem and was drinking heavily at the time, which he said “removed inhibitions” and contributed to his offending.

He said he was having problems with his marriage and he was “not very intimate” with his wife when he began speaking to the underage girl online.

“I think I felt neglected for a period of time,” he told the court.

Lysaght said that was one reason he believed he committed the offence.

He said speaking to girls online “made me feel good and appreciated” and he was flattered by the attention which gave him an “ego boost”.

He also said he was “feeling quite down” at the time and believed he had depression and anxiety, and although he had not been diagnosed he was planning to see a psychologist this month.

When Justice Peter Maiden questioned why he had not sought help for his mental health earlier, Lysaght said it could be tough for people to admit they have a problem.

Justice Maiden responded: “You have a problem with sexualised fantasies about young girls.

“The offender appears to have little insight into his offending behaviour.”

Justice Maiden ordered the case be adjourned so Lysaght could be assessed by a psychologist and a report be prepared on the sexual nature of his offending.

Lawyer Hugo Aston has Charges Dropped

Christine Jiaxin Lee used the error to buy luxury goods, authorities had claimed

Australian prosecutors have dropped charges against a Malaysian woman who allegedly withdrew A$4.6m (£2.6m; $3.5m) following a banking error.

Christine Jiaxin Lee, 22, was alleged to have spent much of the sum on luxury items, such as jewellery and handbags.

The money was mistakenly made available to her by Westpac bank. Police had claimed the withdrawals in 2014 and 2015 constituted fraud.

Prosecutors did not give a reason for withdrawing the charges.

Ms Lee’s lawyer, Hugo Aston, said she was relieved.

“She has returned to Malaysia with her family and is happy to be getting back to her normal life,” he told the BBC on Friday.

Many items purchased by Ms Lee had been seized and returned, Mr Aston said.

Unlimited Overdraft

The former Sydney University student opened the bank account in 2012 and had mistakenly been given an unlimited overdraft.

Money was then withdrawn over an 11-month period until the bank realised the error in 2015.

Ms Lee was arrested at Sydney Airport last year and charged with obtaining financial benefit by deception and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Her lawyer told a court in Sydney that although Ms Lee had been dishonest, she had not committed any deception because the error had come from the bank.

The chemical engineering student, who lived in Australia for five years, has been declared bankrupt.

A Westpac spokesman said the bank had “taken all possible steps to recover its funds”.

Last year a magistrate told prosecutors that the spending may not have been illegal, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It isn’t proceeds of crime. It’s money we all dream of,” magistrate Lisa Stapleton was quoted as saying.

Lawyer, Hugo Aston Has Charges Dropped

SHE was alleged to have spent millions on designer goods after her bank accidentally gave her an unlimited overdraft in a “big, fat error”. But all charges have now been dropped.

A STUDENT who was alleged to have spent $4.6 million on designer goods — after the bank accidentally gave her an unlimited overdraft — has had all her charges dropped.

It was alleged Christine Jiaxin Lee, a 21-year-old Malaysian resident who is studying at Sydney University, realised she had an unlimited overdraft in July 2014 and then went on a multimillion-dollar spending spree for 11 months.

Prosecutors said her extravagant purchases included designer handbags, clothes, jewellery, mobile phones and a vacuum cleaner. She was alleged to have stocked up on Hermes, Chanel and Dior products before her bank, Westpac, caught on.

Christine Jiaxin Lee was accused of fraud. Source: FacebookSource:Facebook

However, prosecutors dropped charges against the chemical engineering student after a similar case involving a man charged with fraud for withdrawing $2.1 million from ATMs was thrown out of court.

Her lawyer told Hugo Aston told the Daily Telegraph Lee would be moving back to Malaysia following the outcome of the case.

“She is happy it is behind her, and to move on with her life,” he told the newspaper.

“There was no deception.

“It’s a very interesting case, and an interesting outcome.

“It is obviously clear the bank should adopt better policies.”

It is unclear whether the seized items will be returned to the student.

The error was picked up by the bank in April 2015 and a senior manager phoned Lee, demanding she explain where the missing millions were.

She previously claimed she believed the money had been transferred into her account by her parents.

Lee was arrested in May 2015. Source: Facebook.Source:Supplied

When she found out police were trying to contact her about the money, Lee is understood to have arranged for herself to be granted an emergency Malaysian passport.

Prosecutors alleged she did this so she could leave the country undetected.

Lee was arrested in May 2015 at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport when she tried to board a flight to Malaysia.

Senior banking officials told the Daily Telegraphthe bungle was a “big, fat banking error”. They admitted they were forced to track down more than $1.3 million Lee allegedly hid in multiple private accounts.

A Westpac spokesman said: “Westpac has taken all possible steps to recover its funds, including taking civil action against Ms Lee.

“The criminal charges against Lee were a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and police, and we respect their decision.”

Crown Seeks Life Sentence For Aymen Terkmani Following Killing Of Mahmoud Hrouk

Mahmoud Hrouk’s hammer with his initials on it is still hung in the lounge room. His work boots remain out.

His 20-year-old brother Ahmed walks past them every day on his way to work and they still bring tears to his eyes.

Sometimes Mahmoud’s mother dreams that he is still alive, or a sibling imagines he is running late to come home from work, until the reality hits with awful clarity.

Mahmoud was bludgeoned to death in 2015. He was 16 years old.

Mahmoud Hrouk, who was found dead in May 2015. Photo: Facebook

As six relatives delivered their victim impact statements in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Mahmoud’s killer stared down at his lap and shifted uneasily in his seat.

One little girl, wearing her best dress, could not speak for tears after uttering only that she missed him.

Aymen Terkmani, 24, was found guilty in August of murdering Mahmoud, after meeting him at Villawood McDonald’s and luring him to an abandoned house in Fairfield East.

He sexually assaulted Mahmoud and beat him with implements including a toaster and rolling pin, before leaving his body in a pool of blood in the hallway.

As six relatives delivered their victim impact statements in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Aymen Terkmani stared down at his lap and shifted uneasily in his seat. Photo: Brendan Esposito


Mahmoud wanted to be a professional football player. He wanted to build his mother a mansion on the water.

He was the “best labourer in town”, who gave his spare change to younger relatives and warned them to be careful with it.

The house where Mahmoud Hrouk was killed on May 22. Photo: Daniel Munoz

When the family played backyard footy together, he used to tease his mother whenever she ran in for a tackle, yelling out to whoever had the ball: “Watch out, the big fella is coming!”

“We don’t do that anymore,” Mahmoud’s mother Maha Dunia told the court.

“I’m reminded every single day that my son is no longer with me.

Aymen Terkmani was found guilty of murdering Mahmoud Hrouk. Photo: Harriet Alexander

“As I walk through my home, as I cook for my family, a son that I had is no longer with me. A part of my life is no longer with me and there’s nothing I can do to bring him back.

“I never in a million years could have imagined myself burying my baby boy, my 16-year-old, six feet under after being killed in the most gruesome way.”

Ahmed, 20, who was not in court to read his own statement, said he had felt incomplete since Mahmoud’s death and sometimes felt like giving up on life.

“I’ve lost a brother, my best friend, my partner in everything, my happiness,” he said.

The Crown is seeking a life sentence for Terkmani, but his barrister Mark Austin argued before Justice Lucy McCallum that she should take into account his youth and the lack of premeditation in making her sentencing decision.

She will deliver her sentence on November 17.


Wife says husband who attacked her and lover with tyre lever is ‘not violent’


THE husband who brutally attacked his wife and her lover with a tyre lever is not violent and remains a close friend, his spouse said today.

Robert Andrew Mann, 30, was yesterday sentenced to 12 months in jail for his vicious assault on Jaimi-Lee Atkinson, 26, and her then-boyfriend Jeremy Sampson. He had tracked them from the couple’s Tamworth home to Sydney using the Find My iPhone app.

Terrifying footage of the June attack shows Mann, armed with a steel rod, dragging a screaming Ms Atkinson out of a vehicle in a Parramatta car park before she runs away. He then leaned into the car and punched Mr Sampson up to 30 times, before returning his attention to his partner of 13 years.

Jaimi-lee Atkinson, 26, and three of her five children.Source:Facebook

Standing over her, he shouts: “Thought you got away from me, didn’t you?”

Ms Atkinson can be heard begging bystanders to call the police.

The mother of five accompanied Mann to court, where he pleaded guilty on two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one count of intentionally destroying/damaging property and one count of driving on a suspended licence.

Ms Atkinson today told “Me and my ex are only friends. We will remain close friends. I’ve spent the majority of my life with him.

“Our marriage is over, too much has been done to repair our marriage, but for our children, the stuff that’s happened in our marriage isn’t their fault. We need to be there for them.

“People have made him out to be some kind of animal who bashed me and someone else and that wasn’t the case. He didn’t hit me.”

Mann arrives at Parramatta Local Court for sentencing yesterday. Picture: John GraingerSource:News Corp Australia

Asked whether she had been able to forgive her husband for the attack, Ms Atkinson said: “There is some sort of forgiveness there, but this story that’s been publicised through the media is not what happened. I don’t know where the media got that from. It’s a load of crock.”

She said reports at the time that there was an AVO (apprehended violence order) in place were inaccurate. “There was no domestic violence, no police involved. Robert was never an abusive partner or husband.

“What happened that night was a one-off thing, we had a lot of personal issues leading up to what happened that night, and it just got to the point where something happened he regrets a lot. I regret what happened leading up to that.

“I had a miscarriage, he was working away from home, long hours … I was basically doing it by myself. He was only home one or two days a week and when he was home, he was sleeping. It put a lot of pressure on our marriage.

Robert Andrew Mann is heard shouting ‘thought you’d got away, didn’t you?’ in terrifying iPhone footage of the attack.Source:Channel 7

Ms Atkinson was by her husband’s side as he was sentenced at Parramatta Local Court yesterday.Source:Channel 9

“I’ve suffered, he’s suffered, our children have suffered from what’s been in the media. We’ve basically been shamed in public for what happened. My children have been bullied at school.

“You can see in the video he was getting cranky there … the cut eye I got was from a broken window during the altercation between the two males. I was very scared about them fighting, like anyone would be.”

She and Mr Sampson were treated by paramedics after the attack before being taken to hospital. Police alleged that when officers later approached Mann, from Wee Waa northern NSW, they were verbally threatened and had to use a taser.

Ms Atkinson continued: “I haven’t been the best wife, I was being unfaithful to my husband. I was having an affair. There was three of us at fault … we’re all sorry for what happened that was publicised and people had to see that. Robert’s very sorry about what happened.

“My main priority now is my children and trying to deal with our personal things. It’s hard on them with their parents separating, without the news talking about all this.

“My son’s going to football training and people are talking about it. The kids knowing Robert, he was never like that … Robert’s not known as a violent person … that stuff never happened.

“My hope for the future is the best life for my children. We just want everyone to know the truth.”

Ms Atkinson said her husband, from whom she is now separated, regularly sees their five children, who are aged between 10 and just under a year old. He lost his job in the cotton industry after the attack.

The 26-year-old says it is too late for her and Mann to resume their relationship, but added: “I still care for Robert deeply, I will forever.”

After pleading guilty to four charges, Mann was sentenced to 12 months’ jail, with a non-parole period of six months, disqualified from driving for two years and fined $300, Nine News reported.

Magistrate Jenny Giles said: “You hunted these two victims, pursuing them across the state in a vengeful, rage-filled vendetta.”

Mann walked free after lodging an immediate appeal and will return to court next month.

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) if you or someone you know needs help. | @emmareyn

Visa Refusals And The Appeal Process

Recent DIBP decisions to refuse Australian visas

In recent times the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has been taking a strict approach to migration with the result that more and more visa applications are being rejected. Interestingly, the grounds for many visa refusals have been subjective, such as:

  • Character (failing to satisfy the DIBP that you are of good character)
  • Genuine position (failing to provide sufficient evidence that the employer genuinely requires the applicant’s experience and skill)
  • Genuine relationship (failing to provide sufficient evidence that the applicant and sponsor are in a real and committed partner/spouse relationship)

There are significant consequences if your visa is refused, such as:

  • The impact on your legal status in Australia, and becoming illegal after your bridging visa (associated with the visa application) has expired (usually 28 days from the refusal date).
  • Restrictions on which future visa applications you can lodge while you are still in Australia;
  • A potential ban on your future return to Australia, due to a 3 year ban on temporary visa applications if you overstay your visa or if you leave Australia while on certain bridging visas and you are affected by a ‘risk factor’.

How to appeal against DIBP decisions – The Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is a separate body, independent of the DIBP. It reviews DIBP decisions on their merits, meaning it stands in the original decision-maker’s shoes and makes the decision afresh, without being influenced by the original DIBP decision. Due to increased visa refusals the AAT has been experienced a high volume of review applications, with the waiting times for a decision therefore ranging anywhere from 6 to 24 months depending on the type of visa.

An appeal against a decision by the DIBP to refuse an Australian visa is not automatic, it can only take place if you have the right to do so and you make a formal application to the correct division of the AAT. If your visa application has been denied it is very important that you speak with a specialist immigration lawyer as a matter of urgency, as strict legislatively prescribed deadlines apply to the lodging of review applications with the AAT. The AAT does not have discretion to extend the timeframe for making a review application. If you wait too long, the DIBP decision to reject your visa application will be final.

If your visa application has been refused the DIBP will have sent you a letter detailing their decision, whether you have a right to appeal, and most importantly, the deadline for lodging a review application that applies in your case. Whether or not you have a right to appeal depends upon the type of visa applied for and the reasons why the visa was denied. For example, if the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection personally decides to reject your visa under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (‘Migration Act’), you cannot apply to have the decision reviewed by the AAT.

The review application filing fee of AUD$1,673.00 is payable in all cases, except for a review of a bridging visa which resulted in a person being placed in immigration detention. The filing fee is 50% refundable if your matter is successful at the AAT. If you lodge your review application while you are still in Australia it is likely you will be eligible for a bridging visa, allowing you to stay in the county lawfully until the AAT makes a decision in relation to your application.

The appeal process can be highly confusing, particularly if you are not familiar with the Australian legal system and English is your second language. It is imperative that you speak with a specialist immigration lawyer to assess the options which may be available to you, and to advise you as to which is the preferable and most cost effective option in your particular circumstances. If you are concerned that you may be close to the deadline for lodging a review application contact us immediately and we will advise you as to what steps you should take.

Given the increase in visa refusals it is crucial that applicants wishing to appeal DIBP decisions present a very strong case. The appeal hearing provides the opportunity to explain your circumstances in greater detail, to correct any misinterpretations and to provide the missing information or supporting documents that let to your visa application being rejected.

It is vital that you have a legal representative who understands how the appeal process operates and can employ strategies best suited to your particular application and visa category. It is essential that all applications for a review are carefully prepared, thorough, well supported and lodged in a way that meets all applicable DIBP law and policy. In the absence of specialist advice, oftentimes visa and review applications are handled poorly, and unfortunately there are significant ramifications which are out of the applicant’s control.

Once you have lodged an appeal application your case will be reviewed by a single AAT tribunal member, who considers your visa application against the same criteria as the DIBP, pursuant to the Migration Act. You may then be asked to attend an appeal hearing, which is an opportunity to appear in person to present your case and provide the AAT with supporting documentation. If you require an interpreter, one will be provided free of charge.

The hearing takes place in a room which resembles a court room, and is voice-recorded. The tribunal member will ask numerous questions about the application, peruse the relevant documentation and hear from any relevant witnesses you have arranged to attend the hearing. The review hearing can be quite a stressful process for these reasons, and particularly because the outcome determines whether you will be permitted to remain in Australia.

If your appeal to the AAT is unsuccessful, you may be able to seek redress through Judicial Review (at the Federal Circuit Court, in the event the AAT has made a legal error) or Ministerial Intervention (to the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection). However, if your appeal to the AAT was not handled correctly, your Judicial Review options may be limited.

Consult a specialist immigration lawyer to ensure your success

Consulting a specialist immigration lawyer will greatly boost your chances of success. The specialists at our firm offer advice specifically tailored to your particular circumstances, correspond with the AAT on your behalf, represent you at the AAT hearing, submit written submissions and evidence, and will ensure you avoid the common fatal mistakes made by applicants who do not consult a specialist, such as failing to adhere to the strict time limits or submitting the incorrect forms.

If you have any questions and would like to schedule a free consultation to meet with our specialist immigration lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

What is an Independent Children’s Lawyer?

What is an Independent Children’s Lawyer?

An Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) is a lawyer appointed by the Family Court to represent the best interests of the child in parenting disputes.

Section 68L of the Family Law Act 1975 enables the child, as well as persons and organisations concerned with the wellbeing of the child, to apply for an ICL. The Court will usually appoint an ICL if one or more of the following circumstances are relevant:

  • There are allegations of abuse towards the children;
  • There is a high level of conflict and dispute between the parents;
  • The child is mature enough to express their own views;
  • There are allegations of family violence;
  • Either one of the parents or child suffer from serious mental health issues;
  • The case involves difficult and complex issues.

What do Independent Children’s Lawyers do?

ICL’s take into consideration the views of the child and form their own opinion about what arrangements and decisions are in the child’s best interests. This may include:

  • Talking to the child.
  • Talking to the family consultant and other relevant people, including teachers and doctors.
  • Reading affidavits.
  • Examining subpoenaed documents.
  • Obtaining evidence to be presented to the Court.
  • Facilitating the participation of the child in court proceedings (if appropriate).
  • Acting for the child in settlement negotiations with the parents (if relevant).

What are the best interests of the child?

In family law the ‘best interests of the child’ has a very particular meaning. Generally, the following are considered in determining best interests:

  • The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm, abuse, neglect or family violence (including exposure);
  • The need to ensure that the child has the benefit of both their parents having meaningful involvement in their life, in so far as it is consistent with the child’s wellbeing;
  • The need to ensure that the child receives proper parenting; and
  • The need to ensure that the parents fulfil their responsibility to care for the welfare and development of the child.

What is the role of the Independent Children’s Lawyer in court?

At the hearing, the ICL will conduct the case on behalf of the child. They will make submission, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.


When does the Independent Children’s lawyer make a recommendation?

When the ICL knows what orders they wish to seek on behalf of the child they will inform the parent’s lawyers, or the parents directly if they are unrepresented.

Sometimes the ICL may be unable to make a recommendation until late in the proceedings or not at all.

If the ICL makes a recommendation, it may be subject to change, based on the evidence made available to the Court.

Former NFP Head Charged With Sexual Assault

The founder and former managing director of disability support organisation Lifestyle Solutions, David Hogg, has been charged over an alleged sexual assault dating back to the 1980s.

On Friday, Hogg was charged by Sydney police with “sexual assault knowing no consent was given” following an investigation that commenced last year. He was granted conditional bail and will appear in court on 24 January 2017.

The charge relates to an alleged incident on 29 July 1988 when the female victim was 16 years old and Hogg, who was known to her, was 35.

Hogg, who was also a winner of Pro Bono Australia’s 2015 Impact 25 award, established not-for-profit organisation Lifestyle Solutions, which provides national support services for people with disability and children living in out-of-home care, in 2001.

He stepped down from his role of managing director in June this year, and Lifestyle Solutions confirmed that he no longer has any involvement with the organisation.

Andrew Hyland, who was appointed CEO in November this year, told Pro Bono Australia News: “David Hogg left the organisation on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 to make way for new leadership.

“We note that the alleged assault was dated Friday, 29 July 1988, pre-dating the inception of Lifestyle Solutions in 2001. David left Lifestyle Solutions in June 2016, and is no longer a director or employee of the organisation.

“As the matter is before the court we cannot make any further comment.”

Hogg declined to comment, but his lawyer Hugo Aston said on his behalf that he would be entering a plea of not guilty.

“He will be vigorously defending the charge,” Aston told Pro Bono Australia News.

Pro Bono Australia will assess David Hogg’s Impact 25 award following the outcome of the court case.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.