R v Adwani [2018] NZDC 14044

Published 24 May 2019

Representative charges — indecent assault — correct number of charges — Criminal Procedure Act 2011, ss 20 & 21. The defendant faced one charge of indecent assault, laid as a representative charge. According to s 20 of the Criminal Procedure Act, representative charges are laid where there are allegations of multiple offences of the same type in similar circumstances, with the same plea expected for each charge, and where the number of offences alleged would make it too hard to manage the trial if separate charges were laid. In this case there was a maximum of two offences alleged. The Court observed that it is not hard to manage a trial involving two alleged offences; therefore, as the Crown conceded, representative charges were inappropriate. The Crown argued that there should be two charges of indecent assault instead. The Court considered that given the nature of the allegations and the way in which the parties had conducted their cases in the trial so far, it was in the interests of justice to amend the charges to a single charge of indecent assault. To do otherwise would risk inconsistent verdicts, speculation and jury confusion. Judgment Date: 10 July 2018.