Prosecution offers no evidence against Peters & Peters client
This week, our client – a senior professional within a regulated services firm and a man of good character – was exonerated as the prosecution finally offered no evidence against him for allegations of non-fatal strangulation, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault.
The case centred on an incident where our client says he was subjected to a physical assault by the first complainant and had to restrain her to protect himself.
Peters & Peters was instructed at a very late stage, only one month before the trial was due to begin. The day after instruction, we made a successful application to break the fixture of the initial trial. We deployed a proactive strategy based on our assessment of the case: there were substantial unresolved disclosure issues; the case was clearly and fundamentally flawed; there were complex issues of hearsay; there was an apparent misleading of the court and defence over witness summons and there were issues of lying by omission by prosecution witnesses.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to cease proceedings against our client, despite the fact that within days of the incident, the complainants both indicated that they did not support the prosecution. Instead, the prosecution continued, including (prior to our instruction) our client having the traumatic experience of being remanded into custody for six weeks awaiting trial.
Peters & Peters wrote numerous letters of representation to the CPS, and our counsel raised the issues in court before numerous judges. In November, after we had pressed for further disclosure, the CPS disclosed further material that it had previously said did not exist. Peters & Peters again wrote to the CPS, highlighting that the case did not satisfy the full code test. Finally, the CPS conceded that the case no longer had a realistic prospect of conviction, and accordingly offered no evidence.
Our client has now been formally acquitted of all allegations and is able to move on with his life. He was also able to obtain a Defendant’s Costs Order.
One judge commented on the “fantastic work of counsel, and the fantastic work of his solicitors” whilst another judge commended our work:
“[Peters & Peters] have set out their task in the representation of this defendant as any solicitor could and should proceed. A focussed approach has been taken in the detailed letter of representations that has been made with a careful assessment of the state of the evidence, the willingness of complainants, the criterion that must be applied in a review, every aspect of why, how and if it goes before a jury has been raised …in the letter. That is how it should be in every case, and I suspect the CPS are not familiar with this approach, as renumeration does not allow the involvement and time being spent in other cases… it is abundantly clear that the CPS are playing a game of catch up in this case and not really caught up to speed with what is written.”
Our client is hugely relieved that he has been vindicated and that this traumatic ordeal is finally over. We are delighted 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.
Peters & Peters’ Of Counsel Rachel Cook and Associate Liam Lane advised the client on all relevant aspects of the prosecution process, supporting him throughout the proceedings.
Instructed counsel was Sallie Bennett-Jenkins KC of 2 Hare Court.