Aggravated Burglary Trial Success
VHS Fletchers were recently instructed to act for two of three defendants appearing before Nottingham Crown Court facing trial for serious allegations of aggravated burglary, knife-point robbery and kidnapping. One of our clients also faced an additional serious charge of wounding with intent.
Nottingham Crown Court Trial
The nature of the charges was such that if convicted the defendants would have faced sentences of more than ten years in prison. They were relieved to be found not guilty of all charges.
The case was prepared for trial by Serena Simpson and Siobhan McGuinness from the firm’s Chesterfield and Derby offices. Although the case was at Nottingham, these offices were more local to our clients. One of our clients was represented by one of our team of in-house solicitor advocates William Bennett. Our second client was represented by experienced counsel Stuart Lody from a local specialist chambers. William had to take the lead on the advocacy as his client was first on the Indictment.
The trial ran for eight days.
The central issue in the case became the credibility of three prosecution witnesses who were said to be either victims or witnesses to the offending.
Following well prepared and skillful cross examination William and Stuart established that a number of significant lies had been told by tose witnesses.
Cross-examination of Untruthful Witnesses
The cross-examination was based on a through understanding of the statements in the case as well as the material that the prosecution had chosen not to use. This was made possible because comprehensive and detailed instructions on all aspects of our clients’ cases had been taken at an early stage to prepare for trial, followed by an active pursuit of relevant unused material.
The cross-examination was able to establish that not only were there significant inconsistencies between the accounts given by the eye witnesses but also that the accounts differed from earlier accounts given by the same witnesses.
The prosecution’s main witness in relation to the knife-point robbery was forced to admit that he had lied to the police and even more worryingly that he had lied on oath to the jury about who was present at the time of the alleged robbery. This lead the Judge to direct the Jury to acquit two of the defendants in relation to that particular charge.
Prosecution Witness Revealed as Drug Dealer
In another interesting development one of the witnesses conceded that the main prosecution witness to the wounding allegation did indeed sell cannabis as had been maintained by our clients throughout, a fact that had been denied by the witness in question.
It was a trial that really emphasised the importance of trial by Jury and the robust testing of evidence during the trial process. Anyone who believes that prosecution witnesses always tell the truth would have had their eyes opened by this case.
There was an enormous amount of pressure on the defendants throughout the case, pressure that only lifted after the Jury returned its verdicts. The firm’s overall approach, however, assisted the defendant’s to withstand the pressure that comes with being accused of crimes that they had not committed.
Instruct VHS Fletchers
If you face allegations, whether aggravated burglary or a different charge, it will be important to you. As a result it is important that you instruct solicitors who will ensure that your best case can be put before the court. If you wish to discuss a case with William or Siobhan please contact them on 01332 546818. Our Chesterfield office can be contacted on 01246 283000. Specific or more detailed enquiries can be made here.