Peters & Peters’ client acquitted on six counts
Our client, a young man from a wealthy and prominent overseas family, was found not guilty of all charges against him following a two-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in February 2023.
Accusations made by his former girlfriend had resulted in a six-count indictment, including allegations of sexual assault, false imprisonment and rape. He was released under investigation shortly after his arrest, and was granted bail to return to and remain in his home country until the trial. We obtained permission for him to attend all pre-trial hearings remotely.
The allegations date back to 2018. Trial was originally scheduled for early 2022, but was adjourned owing to prosecution disclosure failures. The failures continued up to and during trial, with a number of disclosure hearings taking place, and significant items of disclosure provided only on the day the case was opened to the jury.
Our client’s defence from the outset was that his ex-girlfriend had consented to the sexual activity, or alternatively that he reasonably believed she was consenting. We were aware of highly relevant material contained on our client’s devices, which had been seized by police at the time of his arrest, soon after the allegations were made. We drew this material and other evidential difficulties to the attention of the Crown Prosecution Service in extensive representations; however, the decision was taken to maintain the charges.
On the opening day of trial, we applied for permission to adduce evidence of the history of the sexual relationship between our client and his former girlfriend. We were successful on all aspects of that application.
Following the two-week trial, during which our client gave evidence, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on all charges after less than three hours’ deliberation.
Our client is hugely relieved, and we are pleased that he will now be able to move on with his life without the stress and upset of the investigation and prosecution hanging over him.
Head of Business Crime Nick Vamos, Of Counsel Rachel Cook and Associate Kerri McGuigan advised the client on all relevant aspects of the investigation and prosecution process, supporting him in the lead-up to and during trial.
Instructed counsel were Sarah Forshaw KC and Valeria Swift of 5 King’s Bench Walk Chambers.