ASIC to decide fate of convicted planner

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will have the final say on a Western Australia-based planner's future in the industry, after he failed to obtain a spent conviction relating to a breach of a police order.

Dismissing the planner's appeal against the conviction, the Supreme Court of Western Australia noted that he had pleaded guilty to breaching the police order after being placed in a police car following a dispute with his partner.

Court documents revealed that the 34-year-old planner had been drinking with colleagues on 19 September 2015, when he received a text message from his partner saying that she was going to lock him out of his own home.

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When the appellant returned to the house at 11pm, the doors and window were locked, and a verbal argument took place during which the planner told his partner to leave the house, prompting her to call the police, because she did not want to leave.

When the police arrived at the house, the planner was issued with a police order not to communicate or attempt to communicate with his partner for three days or be within 100 metres of her in the same timeframe.

Within five minutes of the order being issued, the planner sent a text message from the back of a police vehicle saying, "if you don't vacate within the next 72 hours I'm not sure what will happen. I cannot believe you have done this again. You will never be welcome within 100 metres of me".

The planner appealed for the conviction to be spent on the grounds that there were "significant mitigating circumstances", he was of "previous good character", he was unlikely to reoffend, "the adverse impact which the recording of a conviction will have upon the appellant who is a Certified Financial Planner, ASIC authorised financial services provider and whom intends to apply for an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence", and that there was "no public interest in a conviction being recorded".

The Court ruled against issuing a spent conviction in the favour of the 34-year-old planner, on the grounds that it would "enable those responsible for the supervision of persons in the financial planning industry accurately to access whether it is appropriate for the appellant to retain the accreditation and authorisation he currently holds, and whether he should be granted an AFS licence having regard for his conviction for breaching a police order".

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