Actual Bodily Harm Not Guilty Verdict
Nottingham criminal solicitor Lauren Fisher secured a not guilty verdict for her client in an unusual case alleging the aiding and abetting of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a second charge of common assault.
Re-opening Mode of Trial?
On the day of trial the case was listed before a District Judge. Although Magistrates had previously accepted that this could be a case dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court, the Judge took the view that that the case ought to be before the Crown Court. This was on the basis that the starting point ought to be one of two years after trial based on the sentencing guidelines. The assault was said to be prolonged, had involved a weapon, and was in a domestic setting so involved a breach of trust.
Lauren argued successfully that it was inappropriate to re-open this decision on the day of trial and the trial proceeded.
Crown Failure Over ABE Interview
The Crown intended to rely on Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) pre-recorded interviews as evidence in chief for the witness. Unfortunately for the witness the prosecution had not applied to the court for this to be allowed, and then failed to ask for permission out of time.
As a result, the witness had to give all of their evidence ‘live’ rather than just be cross-examined. This benefited Lauren’s client as the witness departed from this original interview account and was able to be cross-examined on these differences in account.
Lauren has also investigated material held by the police and prosecution that did not form part of the case. This unused material included phone records of calls between Lauren’s client and a co-defendant. The allegation was that Lauren’s client had telephoned the co-accused to bring them to the address to carry out the assault.
The phone records showed that there was no such call. Lauren ensured that this fact was admitted by the prosecution and would be before the District Judge as evidence.
Too Many Inconsistencies to Ignore
The cross-examination on the inconsistencies in combination with the lie about the phone call meant that the Judge found Lauren’s defendant not guilty. In reaching this decision he specifically announced that there were too many large inconsistencies to ignore.
This decision was a relief to Lauren’s client as the co-accused, following conviction, was committed to the Crown Court for sentence with an indication that custody was inevitable.
Contact Lauren Fisher
Should you wish to contact Lauren Fisher in relation to a case at either the police station or Magistrates’ Court involving Actual Bodily Harm or any other charge then please telephone her on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below.