Lack of intention to permanently deprive leads to not guilty verdict
Nottingham crime solicitor Louise Wright represented a particularly vulnerable client facing trial for shop theft. Her efforts on behalf of her client secured a not guilty verdict. The issues were lack of dishonesty and an intention to permanently deprive.
Louise’s client was charged with a shop theft from a supermarket. She had been detained at the scene and goods recovered from her. The police interview took place on a voluntary basis a week later. Our client chose to proceed without legal advice and representation.
Lack of Intention to Permanently Deprive
In that interview she stated that she had gone to the shop with her friend, the co-accused. She waited outside for her friend but when friend came out she had bags of stolen items. Our client was instructed to go into the store and come back with the rest of the goods she hadn’t managed to steal. Unfortunately our client acted on this, although she felt she had no choice.
Louise met her client for the first time at court. When she took initial instructions she was told that she had entered the store with the intention of being caught. This was so that she could get away from her friend who frightened her. When time was taken to explore the issues further it became clear that her intention was not dishonest.
Defence of duress considered
Consideration was given to whether the legal defence of ‘duress’ was available. Louise advised her client that such a defence would not succeed in this case. As a result she would be better served by concentrating on the issues of dishonesty and a lack of intention to permanently deprive the shop of the items.
Shop theft trial
A not guilty plea was entered at the first hearing. Thereafter a bad character application successfully made by the prosecution. Louise’s client had been convicted of shop theft with the same co-accused in November 2016. As a result the prosecution argued that it undermined her defence in relation to this charge.
Additionally, if our client was convicted, the new offence would place her in breach of a court order and at risk of prison sentence.
Louise’s client attended for trial. Unfortunately, as she was an alcoholic, she arrived heavily under the influence of alcohol. As a result, Louise made an application to adjourn the trial. This was rejected by the court.
As a result, the trial proceeded. Louise’s client had no alternative but to give evidence despite her condition. Her case was, however, assisted by extra work that Louise had carried out on her behalf.
Evidence had been obtained from our client’s support worker. This showed that over a period of time prior to this incident she had complained of being scared and threatened by her co-accused. The prosecution agreed that this evidence could be read to the Magistrates
Not Guilty Verdict
During her closing speech to the Magistrates, Louise directed the bench to the relevant legislation. She highlighted the evidence that was to be relevant to their decision. After a lengthy deliberation the Magistrates’ found her client ‘not guilty’
Contact Nottingham crime solicitor Louise Wright
This case no doubt demonstrates the importance of instructing a solicitor who will dedicate their time to securing the best result for you. This will be important to you, even if your case may not seem serious to others.
High quality advice and representation, including the gathering of all relevant evidence, will make a difference whether you are interviewed by the police or face court proceedings.
If you wish to instruct Louise to represent you either at court or the police station then please contact her on 0115 9599550. Alternatively you can use the contact form below.