“Mr Hanafi is a man of good fame and character”, pronounced his Honour Judge Haesler, “the allegations against him make little sense…he has done everything possible to remedy the situation.”
Sydney lawyer Mr. Nas Hanafi successfully appealed against a minor larceny conviction in the District Court during November 2013, enabling him, with the support of the Law Society of New South Wales, to continue practicing law unencumbered.
In an interview with Legal Reporter, Hanafi expressed his relief that the case has been finalised and reiterated his faith and trust in the Australian criminal justice system: “People in similar situations need to stay firm, and push through it until justice prevails.” Mr Hanafi stated that experiencing these allegations endowed him with valuable professional insight into his clients’ positions: “The ordeal has definitely made me more sensitive and empathetic towards clients working through similar issues.”
Mr Hanafi was enjoying a Christmas function hosted in a colleague’s Barrister Chambers, and clicked with a female acquaintance early on in the evening. Later, during a taxi commute to an after party venue, Hanafi stated that she offered what appeared to be an illegal recreational drug to him. Mr Hanafi declined her offer, but continued to interact with her. The woman returned the substance to her purse.
While at the venue, Police attended the scene to resolve a curb-side brawl. Mr Hanafi panicked for his acquaintance’s well being and professional reputation. Mr Hanafi subsequently abandoned the venue with her purse, depositing it into a nearby trash can. Following the incident, Hanafi financially compensated his acquaintance for the purse and its contents; however the matter was pursued in court by Police. Charges were pressed for larceny, with Police interpreting the situation as a theft.
“It was frustrating to be pursued with a charge”, said Hanafi. “While my actions were not actions I would repeat, they were motivated not by personal gain, but by wanting to help.”
Pre-eminent Sydney Barrister, Mr. Joshua Grew, directed Mr Nasir Hanafi’s appeal. Mr. Grew is renowned for his criminal law work, and for his mediator accreditation with the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia. His Honor Jude Haesler heard the matter in the District Court during November 2013, and quashed Mr Hanafi’s conviction. Judge Haesler placed emphasis on Hanafi’s unblemished criminal record and his endeavours to neutralise his actions:
“Mr Hanafi is a …solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Mr Hanafi is not a dishonest man…he is not a thief. The absence of personal advantage certainly is a matter that can also be taken into account…He is a person who I believe can be trusted with other people’s money and belongings and possessions.”
Mr Hanafi, a seasoned legal practitioner with over 14 years of wide ranging industry experience, successfully continues to manage his own Legal practice, Lion Legal. Hanafi also undertakes casual academic work as a Corporate Law lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, imparting his years of experience onto next-generation lawyers.