In October, solicitors from Lansbury Worthington were, on two occasions, asked by magistrates’ courts to step in and assist unrepresented defendants with the cross-examination of vulnerable and distressed witnesses.
This is a power the magistrates’ court can employ under the Youth Justice & Criminal Evidence Act to ensure that defendants in the criminal justice system are able to effectively put their defence in court while protecting vulnerable witnesses from being cross-examined by the accused.
On both occasions the solicitors from Lansbury Worthington; Matthew Humphreys and James Chaplin, were able to effectively cross-examine the witnesses and help ensure that the defendant’s case was effectively put. In both cases the defendants were found not guilty.
R v B
Nick Leamy successfully represented this client before the City of London Magistrates’ Court accused of assaulting a police office and of obstructing the police in the execution of their duty. The court heard evidence from two police officers. The officers told the court that they had stopped the client to carry out a drug search. However, after careful cross-examination of the officers Nick was able to make a half time submission that the drug search was unlawful and therefore the officers were not acting in the lawful execution of their duty. Both charges were discharged, and a 'not guilty' verdict was formally recorded, without the need for the client to even give evidence.