WRITTEN BY JULIA COFFIN, PARALEGAL
My client is a young man that had been involved in an altercation with a group of youths and charged with Criminal Damage. His mother called me shortly before Christmas extremely frustrated at the lack of progress she was experiencing from the Legal Aid Solicitor they had been working with up until that point. Of course I reassured her that we could help her son, and we took over the case.
Our client is a young man of good character with no previous convictions, he is a student with excellent grades and offers from three Universities to study Business. He was chosen to be peer support at school as well as Captain of the School Sports Team, Rugby Team and a Prefect.
The client had been travelling in a cab with five friends and an incident occurred whereby the cab driver was assaulted by one of the group and a window was broken by another. My client was identified as being present at the scene and subsequently charged with Criminal Damage.
When I interviewed the client on the telephone he came across as a very polite young man, and I couldn’t reconcile the idea of the person I was speaking to causing criminal damage in a fit of youthful exuberance – he just didn’t come across that way to me.
When I reviewed the file, the evidence against him was extremely thin, it appeared that he had been singled out as he had been positively identified as being present, which he had never disputed, however he had not been involved in the fracas and was merely present.
We approached the CPS and asked them to review the case due to a lack of evidence, which was denied and the matter proceeded to trial.
Our client was represented by one of our experienced Barristers from our London Chambers and we secured a verdict of Not Guilty – which wasn’t entirely surprising given the very weak case against him.
The Barrister’s account of the courtroom proceedings was that the prosecutor approached the case as if it were a murder trial, shouting at our client – who is only 18 years old – and being selective in the evidence she presented, deliberately withholding parts of the evidence that would undermine their case and assist our defence case. The prosecutor was described as being horrible and unprofessional and the family are considering lodging a formal complaint about her conduct and behaviour.
We secured an excellent and well deserved result for our client, a young man who no longer faces the possibility of a criminal record for something he wasn’t involved with.
We stayed in constant contact with our client’s parents at all stages throughout the case preparations and lead up to the trial, reassuring them at every point as they were very worried about their son and what might happen. I received a text from them after the trial ended saying that they couldn’t thank me enough, and that the Barrister was fantastic!
If you are being charged with, or investigated for, criminal damage, call me now for a free initial consultation on 01623 397200.
Tags: case studies, criminal damage