Facebook ID Excluded – Charges Against Bartz Dropped
Bosscher Lawyers solicitor Tim Meehan and barrister Angus Edwards have successfully argued for the exclusion of evidence identifying Wade Anthony Bartz as being present during an armed robbery that involved three men and a woman on Australia Day in 2012.
The female victim, and Crown witness, had trawled through Facebook photos after one of her daughters suggested that she might know one of the intruders, based off the description of “covered in tattoos” and “offer her face on drugs”. Whilst looking through Facebook, the woman recognised a “big muscular chap” as the man who stood guard at the door. The woman had stumbled upon a photo of Mr Bartz. The woman had shown the police this photograph, and police requested that she cease looking at the photos but included a photo of Mr Bartz in a photo board identification test.
Mr Edwards asserted that the identification test was tainted due to the woman already having shown police a photograph of Bartz. It also became apparent that there was a lack of transparency by police in regards to how Bartz was identified.
Judge Brian Harrison ordered that the identification of Bartz through Facebook, and the subsequent photoboard identification would be excluded at trial. Following this decision, the Crown ceased proceedings against Bartz.