Monday, May 28, 2012

I Better Finish This Off

Last year I dealt with a plea and case management hearing where I had an informal chat with the CPS lawyer. The case was odd in that it involved a scuffle in the street with a knife. The case was odd because the people directly involved in the scuffle had not given witness statements and the only person who was involved in the scuffle and the proceedings was the Client. Witnesses had provided statements suggesting that my Client had been attacked by two men, other witnesses suggested that my Client had attacked the two men.

My firm had written to the CPS suggesting that they should not continue to prosecute the case because their evidence was contradictory and the Client had a valid defence for having the knife. When I got to the plea and case management hearing the Client was wavering and suggested that he wanted to plead guilty despite his defence to try to reduce the risk of being sent to prison.

I spoke with the CPS lawyer and asked if the CPS were considering dropping the case and was told that they were going to continue. The Client pleaded not guilty and his case was adjourned for a trial. I later found out that the CPS lawyer had been concerned about the case but decided to continue because he had heard me mention at an earlier hearing that the Client may consider pleading guilty to bring the case to a swift end.

When the case was listed for a trial I made sure that my diary was free so that I could do the trial as I felt I had an obligation to finish the case off as my comment appeared to be one reason why the case was continuing. I am pleased to report that my Client had a trial and was eventually found not guilty.

I sometimes wonder if my input in to cases does have a real impact which changes the outcome of a case in a positive way. I would like to think that my decision to finish the case had a real input in securing the acquittal of the Client.


robert said...

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