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Key decisions

  • Bugmy v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2024] NSWCA 70
  • Ardestani v R [2024] NSWCCA 31

Bugmy v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2024] NSWCA 70

Arrest for breach of bail – preconditions to arrest

This decision overturns a single-judge decision which graced these pages in August 2023: Bugmy v Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW) [2023] NSWSC 862. Here, the Court of Appeal determined that an officer who has formed a belief, on reasonable grounds, that a person has failed (or is about to fail) to comply with their bail conditions, must take into account the considerations set out in section 77(3) of the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) (‘Act’) before taking enforcement action.

The applicant was on bail for offences related to making harassing or menacing phone calls to Broken Hill Police Station. Her bail conditions prevented her from going to the local police stations or calling them on the telephone except in an emergency. On the day in question, it was alleged she called the Broken Hill Police Station and demanded that police attend within 15-20 minutes but did not explain why. She spent about three minutes yelling and abusing the constable who had the bad fortune to answer the phone. When the call ended, the constable looked up the applicant’s bail conditions and entered a job on the police computer to the effect that the applicant had breached her bail conditions. Shortly, another officer came back to the station and was told what happened. That other officer also checked the applicant’s bail conditions, then set off to the applicant’s home with four other police; not to respond to her call but to arrest her for breaching her bail conditions. The applicant resisted her arrest.

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