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If ever there was a reason to ensure that the Prosecution comply with sharing of disclosure with the defence, even if it undermines their case then this case would be one such example.
The director of Public Prosecutions in JUNE of 2018 had to apologise for failings in the criminal justice system after a review found that 47 rape or sexual offence cases were halted because evidence had not been properly shared with the defence.
Despite this review, this case seemed to have fallen through the net and continued into September. It was only halted after careful and specific consideration was given to numerous Section 8 Applications were made for disclosure resulting in unearthing evidence which totally undermined the complainants’ credibility as well as her evidence.
The Defendant, a successful businessman, was charged with rape by penetration as well as two further counts of indecent assault on two separate complainants. He was initially arrested in 2016 and then released under investigation. Then two years after his initial arrest he was charged. The Defendant initially went to a local solicitor in Birmingham whom looking at the evidence advised him to plead guilty.
The Defendant was not happy with this solicitors conduct and decided to seek alternative representation. He chose to transfer his case to Ashmans literally only a few months before the trial date.
After careful consideration of the evidence and preparation of the client’s defence we were able to establish that there were many points of evidence that the police had simply not bothered to investigate. The most concerning aspect was the fact that the police had not taken any steps to look into the complainants mobile phone, her business associates and her financial standing.
It was the Defendant’s case that all of these allegations were false and had been concocted by the lead Prosecution witness for nothing other than financial reward. The Prosecution would not provide us with this evidence despite numerous requests. It was left to Ashmans Solicitors to make Section 8 Applications under the Criminal Procedure Investigations Act 1996.
As a result of the above, the evidence was released by the Prosecution on the Friday before trial which in short totally discredited the complainant’s account. On the first day of the trial, this evidence was placed before the Prosecution trial Barrister, the reviewing lawyer, as well as the investigating officer. It was decided at that stage that there would be an internal review by the Prosecution and they asked for a two-week adjournment to consider this new material which Ashmans had unearthed. Following the adjournment 7 days thereafter the Prosecution sent Ashmans a letter stating that having reviewed this new material they had decided not to proceed with the trial.
This could have been a case of a severe miscarriage of Justice especially if the Defendant had adhered to the previous solicitor’s advice. Had the Defendant not come to Ashmans Rape Solicitors London the outcome may well have been different. If you feel that you are being misrepresented by your current solicitors then contact our sexual assault solicitors.