Police BodyCam Footage Key in Trial
Chesterfield Crime solicitor David Gittins recently defended a client before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court charged with an allegation of domestic assault. Police Bodycam footage was of key importance.
David’s client was found not guilty following a full hearing of the evidence at trial.
David first met his in Chesterfield Court cells. He had been refused bail by the Police. David made a successful bail application. As we offer continuity of representation, David then continued to deal with the case on behalf of his client.
Client of Good Character
This involved several meetings with him at our Chesterfield office to prepare the case. David’s client had never been in trouble with the police or court before. The potential effects of a conviction for this offence could be far reaching.
It was said that David’s client and partner had argued following a family meal. His partner demanded that he spend the night on the sofa. It was said that in response to that he grabbed his partner by the throat and hit her, causing scratches to her neck and a cut to her lip.
A neighbour gave evidence that she had heard the incident through the wall and had spoken to the complainant before calling the police.
Our client provided a different version of events. He said that he had been grabbed by his partner and hit to the face. He had pushed her away and taken hold of her to prevent further attack. He maintained that his actions were reasonable. He acted in self-defence.
David’s client entered a not guilty plea and the case was listed for trial. David asked the prosecution to serve additional evidence before the trial including body warn camera (BodyCam) footage from the police/ This turned out to be crucial to the defence.
Crucial Police BodyCam Footage
On behalf of his client, David had the complainant confirm parts of her evidence again. Importantly she stated that as she didn’t strike her partner, he had no injuries.
David was then able to show the complainant and the Court the BodyCam footage from the police who attended the incident. Recorded comments and injuries meant that the complainant had to change her account. Further inconsistencies in her account were then brought out by questioning.
Although the neighbour gave the same account that she had originally given to the police, David was easily able to establish that she could not give evidence as to what had actually happened on the other side of the wall.
Finally, David made sure that the prosecution read into evidence the agreed statement from a police officer confirming that his client has a fresh injury to his eye when first seen by the police.
David’s client then gave evidence on his own behalf.
David was able to rely on the burden and standard of proof when speaking on behalf of his client. The BodyCam footage and his client’s injuries undermined the account of the complainant. In order to find his client guilty the Magistrates had to be sure that he used unlawful force.
The Magistrates returned their verdict after a short while. They could not be sure that the complainant’s account was true and as a result found David’s client not guilty. He kept his good name.
Defendants in domestic violence cases might feel that it is difficult to put their case across. This is why there will be a benefit in instructing a diligent and focused specialist criminal solicitor who will review all of the evidence in detail.
In this case, an analysis of what the complainant had said as recorded on the police Bodycam allowed David to demonstrate that the complainant might not be telling the truth.
If you wish David to represent you at either the police station or Magistrates’ Court please telephone 01246 28300 or email him here.