Jason is 26 years old and has a long history of drug and alcohol addiction. Whilst he struggled with his addictions he had been a carer for his disabled mother and was living with his parents. Jason’s relationship with his brother had always been volatile and one night when his brother came to visit an argument ensued. The disagreement became physical and police were called. An intervention order was made against Jason, in favour of his father and his brother, and Jason was prohibited from attending the family home. Additionally, criminal charges were laid against Jason for assaulting his brother.
This was a particularly low point in Jason’s life and proved a catalyst for change. Jason realised that he had been self medicating for too many years and needed help with drug and alcohol abuse and his mental health issues. He was lucky enough to secure a bed at a residential rehabilitation centre.
Jason was referred to PCLC after a community legal education session was presented at the rehab centre. After first making contact with the fines clinic he was referred to the general law team for assistance with the criminal charges that had been laid against him.
When meeting with Jason it became apparent that there was a long history of dysfunctional relationships, and this had precipitated an uncharacteristic outburst with his brother. Jason had disclosed at the rehab centre that he had been abused in a variety of ways by his brother when they were younger, and felt that he never received that support or validation he needed from his family. This anger was underlying his depression and his dependence on drugs and alcohol.
With the support of the staff at the rehab centre we were able to make compelling submissions in mitigation around how this incident had occurred within the context of historical family violence. Furthermore, Jason had taken some very important steps towards his recovery, all of his own volition.
The Magistrate was persuaded by our submissions and Jason was ordered to pay a fine without a conviction recorded. He was able to continue his treatment and bravely confront his past