R V Bilal Skaf, Legal Studies Research Report

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Preface: Due to space constraints I will be focusing on the actions taken by and taken against BILAL Skaf solely as opposed to his brother MOHAMMED Skaf. In addition, I will be concentrating on the events which the charges were given rise to on 12 August 2000 and as opposed to 2 separate cases rape cases which Bilal Skaf was also a belligerent for the month of August 2000. I will also be mentioning the recent appeal case in 2008 which reduced the sentences given for the crimes in 2006.

R v Bilal SKAF
Legal citation of the case: Regina v Bilal Skaf; Regina v Mohammed Skaf [2006] NSWSC 394, 28 July 2006 AND amendment to this decision with the appeal: R v Skaf & Skaf [2008] NSWCCA 303, 17 December 2008 Outline the elements of the offence

In terms of Actus Reus of committing the guilty and physical act of the crime, Bilal Skaf has been charged with aggravated sexual assault without consent and aggravated sexual intercourse without consent. For the first offence the outline of the occurrence of events are as follows: On August 12, 2000 a 16-year-old girl accepted an offer from Mohammed Skaf to be driven to the city and picked up from her home, Mohammed Skaf had known the complainant for some time, although he had never told her his correct name: she knew him as ‘Sam’. She was then taken to Greenacre's Gosling Park where in which Bilal Skaf was the principal assailant in the attack. He dragged the girl out of the car with the help of several men as she cried and screamed; he then proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her whilst she was being held down. After Bilal Skaf had finished this act, he allowed and encouraged another man who wished to engage with the woman and the man proceeded to have sexual intercourse with the female. This constitutes the second offence charged against Bilal Skaf as being there as an aider and abettor. The first offence attracted a lengthier sentence than the second offence, in which his liability was accessorial rather than as a principal offender. However the second offence was also a very serious one, remembering that Bilal Skaf was the leader of the group. Additionally there are a number of aggravating factors to be taken into account in relation to Bilal Skaf under s21A of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. The factors include that the offences involved both the actual and threatened use of violence; that they involved a series of criminal acts, and that they were part of a planned or organised criminal active, but perhaps most significantly is the emotional harm caused by the offence which was substantial, in the words of Matthews, AJ “given the terrifying and degrading behaviour of her assailants that night, the complainant’s life has since been adversely affected in almost every respect.” Describe the factors that might have led to the criminal behaviour Bilal Skaf grew up in an underclass area led to a lack of motivation which resulted in a lack of education. Bilal Skaf grew up as the ‘man’ of the family due to his position as the first born son the family and his father being absent from home. This is important to note as Skaf was likely to avoid discipline when he ‘tests the limits’ which shapes his attitude to school where he flaunts the rules to an extent. He was then expelled from his high school at the mere age of 14 years old, with a lack of school certificate consequently leading him to have a lack of any real career prospects and resulting in Skaf starting to acquire a criminal record and disregard for the law at a very young age. With a lack of a job, Skaf turned to the streets and there he sees he needs to attain respect from his peers, and to gain this respect he will do anything, including breaking the law leading to a shoplifting offence within several months. Dr Leah Giarrtano who researched the case came to the conclusion and may be quoted as saying “that he possesses what is known as conduct disorder” where the rights of others are persistently violated a...
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