Case Studies

Police Station – Case Study 1

Mr B was a young man who had been in extensive trouble as a youth for various matters. He had been arrested by the police as a result of his fingerprints being found at the scene of a robbery at a jeweller. The police would not reveal where in the shop the fingerprints had been found.

Mr B stated that in the past he may have been to the jewellers, but had never taken part in any robbery there. He was advised to answer, “No Comment” in interview, which he did. The police then decided not to take any further action and he was released without charge.

It transpired that his fingerprints had been found on the public side of the counter

Police Station – Case Study 2

Mr A was arrested and taken to the police custody suite on an allegation of common assault, whereby it was alleged that he had pushed his wife during the course of an argument over their children. There were no injuries and no independent witnesses.

He was advised to give a prepared statement denying the allegation, and then answer all questions in interview, “No Comment”. He did so. He was bailed to return to the custody suite at a later date. Prior to returning the police informed him that they would not be taking the case any further as the complainant, his wife, had refused to cooperate or make a statement and therefore they had no evidence.

Magistrate’s Court – Case Study 1

Mr A was summoned for driving a vehicle with excess alcohol. The facts were that a member of the public had reported him to the police as he was seen stumbling when walking to his car, and they feared he might have been drunk.

The police did not stop him when driving, but instead attended at his home address. When they attended he informed them that he had drunk some whisky when he had got home. They breathalysed him immediately, which he failed, and was arrested and taken to the police custody suite. Upon arrival he was breathalysed again and provided a low reading which was in excess of the legal limit.

At court, after receiving advice from this firm, Mr A pleaded not guilty. We obtained legal aid on his behalf then instructed an expert to carry out a back calculation to try and establish what his reading would have been at the time he drove his vehicle.

The expert reported that the reading would have been below the legal limit. At trial the expert and Mr A gave evidence, and he was acquitted.

Magistrate’s Court – Case Study 2

Mr B was arrested for assaulting his neighbour. The allegations were that in the course of an argument he had pushed him over a garden fence, causing no injury. He stated that he had only defended himself when his neighbour assaulted him. Legal aid was obtained on his behalf.

At the police station he denied the offence stating, after advice, that he had only acted in self-defence. We ensured that the police took photos on the day of his injuries.

The defendant pleaded not guilty. In court the neighbour gave evidence stating that an argument over the defendant’s dog had caused the defendant to push him over the garden fence. He denied physically touching him in any way. He positively affirmed after a series of questions that the defendant could not have been injured in any way.

He was then shown the photographs of the injuries incurred and told they had been taken on the same day. He became angry and flustered in the witness box, trying to explain that perhaps the defendant had used make up to fake injuries. He was then told that the photos had been taken by a police officer. Our client was acquitted.

The Crown Court – Case Study 1

The defendant was arrested for a street robbery which he denied. He was alleged to have threatened a younger person, then punched him and taken his possessions. At the police station the police were supplied with full alibi evidence. He was, however, picked out at an ID parade.

He was charged with robbery, appeared at the magistrates’ court and then sent to the crown court for trial. We obtained legal aid on his behalf.

Prior to trial we contacted his alibi witnesses and took statements from then. We also obtained his phone records and those of a close relative who, at almost the exact time the robbery was taking place, had had a long telephone conversation with him.

On the first day of trial the Crown, having been shown the evidence that we had obtained, decided to drop the matter.

The Crown Court – Case Study 2

Mrs B was arrested for dangerous driving. It was alleged that she had driven through a level crossing, almost breaking the barrier when it came down, and narrowly missing a fully laden bus.  At the police station the defendant stated that she accepted that she had gone through the barrier too late, but denied that she had narrowly missed the bus. At the station we asked that the CCTV of the incident be seized.

We obtained legal aid on her behalf and at the magistrates’ court she pleaded guilty. Due to the serious nature of the case, and in particular the danger caused to the bus passengers, she was sent to the crown court for sentencing.

In the meantime, after many letters, we finally obtained the CCTV footage which showed that she had been telling the truth. After the judge had been informed what had happened he decided that a high community penalty was the appropriate sentence, not prison.

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