Carefully prepared cross examination leads to not guilty verdict
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher secured a not guilty verdict for her client following careful cross examination of a witness. He faced an allegation of common assault. He was said to have punched his partner once to the face when drunk. She had visible injuries – bruising and swelling to her cheek bone.
Preparation of cross examination
In order to present your best case at trial, an experienced advocate will plan how best to ask the questions. For example, in this case, Lauren would have to question the witness to suggest that she was not telling the truth. If a witness’s truthfulness is challenged immediately, it might be unlikely that they help an advocate with other information that they could give.
As a result, Lauren questioned the witness first to establish that a third person had been present during the incident. The witness, in answer to questions, confirmed that this person was a mutual friend who would not favour one party over another. They had no reason to lie that the witness could think of.
This information was important as the third person was to be called as a witness for the defence.
Lauren then moved on to more contentious issues. She cross-examined the witness on the important differences between the account she gave in her statement and the evidence she had given to the court.
At one point the witness conceded that she had “tried to contact the police to change my statement as I knew it did not make sense”. This was an important concession by the witness.
Our client’s defence was that he had been acting in self-defence but the injury was accidental. He maintained that he was being hit by both the complainant and her friend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, if this was true, her friend had not given a statement to the police.
A statement had been taken by Lauren from the mutual friend who had been present. Unfortunately the police had failed to seek accounts from anybody else who had witnessed the incident.
Closing speech dealt with the detail
In closing, Lauren was able to outline all of the problems and inconsistencies with the account that the witness had given under cross examination. She was able to point to the consistent account given by her client and the third party.
After due consideration, the Magistrates found her client not guilty.
Lauren’s client took the time to thank her for the work that she had put into his case. He wrote:
“Hi Lauren, I’m very happy with what happened today. You are a good solicitor. The way you handled the whole situation was good. Thank you again for helping me”
Contact Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher
Whether you face a police investigation or proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will wish to instruct a solicitor who will spend the time preparing your case. This might involve making sure that advice on the law is correct. If could be giving careful advice on plea or sentence. In this case it involved preparing a structure for cross examination of a witness to ensure Lauren’s client had the best opportunity for a not guilty verdict.
If you want to contact Lauren to discuss a case then please call her on 0115 9599550. Alternatively you can use the contact form below.