Trial Success for Client in Custody
Chesterfield solicitor Kevin Tomlinson represented a client at trial charged with a breach of a restraining order protecting his ex-partner. The presentation of the case to the Magistrates was to be made potentially more difficult due to the following factors:
- that the client was contesting the trial from custody
- the witness would be giving evidence from behind a screen
- in the same proceedings the client had accepted being in breach of a restraining order on two separate occasions.
There is always a risk that such ‘bad character’ evidence or a witness behind a screen (‘special measures’) will be highly prejudicial.
In any event, the complainant and a second witness were confident that the person they had seen was Kevin’s client. Both knew him, and the complainant had been in a relationship with the complainant for several years. The quality of the identifications was apparently good.
Fortunately for the client, Kevin’s years of experience told him that you could not take the quality of the identification evidence for granted. Kevin knew the area and was able to demonstrate the the court through maps and on-line street views that the witnesses’ views were not as good as they pretended.
Kevin’s thorough cross-examination of the witnesses raised a doubt in the mind of the Magistrates and the client was acquitted of this allegation, much to his relief.
Kevin’s client also had the benefit of receiving legal aid which meant that the preparation and representation given by VHS Fletchers was free of charge to him.