Tag Archives: no case to answer

Not guilty after trial of making indecent images

Over recent years there has been a vast increase in the number of second hand mobile phones being sold online through such sites as eBay or Gumtree. Such purchases may not be without risk as a client found when charged with making indecent images!

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor David Gittins recently represented a client who had bought such a phone.  He had been making indecent imagesarrested and charged with possessing indecent images on his second hand mobile phone.  David’s client was adamant that he knew nothing about the images.  He maintained he was not aware that they were in his phone.

The year long investigation was followed by proceedings before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  At trial David successfully argued that there was no case to answer.  As a result the charges were dismissed.

Free and independent advice in police interview

David’s client had been arrested in the summer of 2016 for unrelated matters.  His mobile phone was seized by the Police and making indecent imagesexamined. The Police found a small number of indecent images on the phone.  Understandably they wanted to interview our client about this.

He sought free and independent legal advice from VHS Fletchers and was represented by David during two separate sets of interviews. Our client denied the offence saying he knew nothing about the images.  He was unable to comment about how they got to be in his phone, nor could he help with when they got there.

‘Making indecent images’

As a result the our client could do little else but deny the allegation.  The police and prosecution were not happy with these denials so he was charged to Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  The charge was making indecent images between two dates in 2016.

Making indecent images does not necessarily involve taking a photograph.  Downloading an image and making a new digital file is sufficient for a person to be guilty of an offence.  The offence is likely to be treated seriously by the courts and therefore a prison sentence is often imposed.  Although the ‘maker’ of the image is unlikely to have met the child, it is serious because there is a child victim at the end of the chain of ‘makers’ who copy the image.

The Trial

David met with his client on several occasions to take instructions and give advice before trial.  David’s analysis of the technical evidence showed that the prosecution could not show when the images arrived on the phone.   In order to prove the offence the prosecution would have to show that our client was responsible for making indecent images.

The prosecutor could not show that the images were placed on the phone while it was owned by David’s client.  Additionally, there was no evidence that the images had been opened and viewed since our client had owned the phone.

making indecent imagesAt no point during the prosecution was evidence called to challenge our client’s account that the phone was bought second hand.  The prosecution simply sought to rely on a need by our client to explain the images.  Our client, however, had the benefit of the burden and standard of proof and did not have to prove anything.

After the prosecution case had finished David considered the evidence that the court had heard.  Because of this he decided to make an application of no case to answer.  This can lead to a case being stopped before the defence case.  It is possible in cases where there is no likelihood of a court finding a defendant guilty.

The Magistrates’ in this case agreed with David’s argument and the case against his client was dismissed.

His client was understandably delighted with this result.  He had never been in trouble with the police before so kept his good name.  He will hopefully be able to put the fourteen months that he had serious proceedings hanging over his head behind him.

Free representation with Magistrates’ Court legal aid

Legal aid is available for advice and representation before the Magistrates’ Court. It is dependent upon our clients satisfying the legal aid agency of the merits of their cases and that they qualify on their means.  If it is granted then our advice and representation will be free of charge.

Contact a Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor David Gittins

Whatever the allegation that you face, you will want to instruct an expert criminal defence solicitor who will analyse the evidence in your case and prepare it accordingly.  In cases such as this, it is important that any gaps in the evidence are identified and exploited to obtain the best result for you.

Please call us on out office number 01246 283000.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


Chesterfield Criminal Solicitor – No Case to Answer

Chesterfield criminal Solicitor David Gittins recently used all of his court experience to successfully argue at trial that there was no case for his client to answer.  This would mean that all charges would be dismissed.  As a result his client would be not guilty of the offences. Previous criminal behaviour need not mean that a person is inevitably guilty of new offences.

The Allegation

David’s client had been arrested and charged with an allegation of criminal damage. The background was one of anti-social behaviour directed towards a neighbour.  A restraining order had been put in place as a result.

The complainant, as well as having the protection of a court order, had also put up CCTV .  This was specifically to cover a passageway between the two properties.

chesterfield criminal solicitorThe allegation was that David’s client had damaged this camera.  Although the damage was not caught on the camera, and there were no eye-witnesses, the prosecution had chosen to bring the case to court.  The case was brought on the basis of our client’s poor behaviour in the past and because he was in the area at the time the camera was damaged.

Although David’s client had denied the offence in police interview, he appeared to accept causing damage by catching himself on some low hanging wires in the dark.  He himself had called the police the following day to give that account.

The Trial

chesterfield criminal solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

David had seen his client to take instructions and provide advice on on several occasions before the trial date.  David had also taken the time to visit the property.  He took photographs to allow the Magistrates to fully understand the scene.

These instructions allowed David to develop a case plan ensuring that he knew what evidence was required from the witness to secure an acquittal for his client.

At trial the owner of the CCTV attended and gave evidence about the its location and how and when it was fixed to the wall.  During his evidence the witness accepted “it was possible” that some of the wires may have dropped. David knew this answer was key. Previously in discussions with the prosecution,  it was claimed that there were no such wires.

The witness gave evidence for the prosecution for over 30 mins. David then questioned the witness himself, although he chose to only a small number of questions.  This questioning only lasted three minutes.

chesterfield criminal solicitorAfter the prosecution case had finished, David made an application that the case ought to be dismissed.  This was because there was simply no evidence upon which his client could be convicted.  The prosecution witness had confirmed what his client had said about loose wires.  There was no eye witness testimony to the incident.  As a result there was no evidence to challenge his account.

The Magistrates retired and returned a short while later accepting David’s argument and dismissing the case.

His  client was delighted as he was subject to a Suspended Sentence Order so any conviction would have almost certainly resulted in a prison sentence.

Criminal legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court 

Chesterfield criminal solicitor david gittinsLegal aid is available for advice and representation before the Magistrates’ Court.  It is dependent upon our clients satisfying the legal aid agency of the merits of their cases and that they qualify on their means.

In this case, David’s client had the benefit of legal aid which means that his representation was free of charge to our client.

Instruct a Chesterfield criminal solicitor

criminal damage not guilty verdict
Chesterfield partner and crime solicitor David Gittins

Whether you find yourself under investigation by the police, or facing proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court, you will want to instruct a specialist Chesterfield criminal solicitor to present and argue your case.  We will give you a clear idea of what needs to be achieved and how it can be will benefit you.

There are many reasons to take advantage of our free and independent legal advice in police interview.  You can read about those here.

If you wish to instruct Chesterfield criminal solicitor David then please telephone him on 01246 387999 or contact him using the form below.  Details of your nearest office can be found here.