Lansbury Worthington has secured a double acquittal in the same proceedings.
Two co-defendants, both represented by Lansbury Worthington, have been found not guilty of racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The clients, who were represented individually by Richard Gowthorpe and Naomi Alcendor, were on trial for this offence before Harrow Crown Court along with two other defendants represented by another firm of solicitors. The allegation against all four defendants was that this was a group attack in which the victim was punched and kicked by all of the defendants in the head and torso and that during the attack racial insults were shouted at the victim.
Initially the client represented by Naomi had indicated that he might be prepared to plead guilty to the less serious offence of common assault. However, this basis of plea was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service who insisted this was a serious assault in which the victim sustained actual bodily harm. This proved to be an error by the Crown because when the case went to trial Naomi was able to skilfully cast serious doubt over the credibility of the evidence against her client to the extent that the case against him didn’t even get past half-time! At the close of the prosecution case the judge, after hearing submissions from Naomi, found that the client had ‘no case to answer’ and therefore directed the jury to find the client not guilty of the offence.
Richard’s client also fared well at trial. His case went past half-time, but after the jury had heard his account of the incident they agreed with Richard’s closing speech that the prosecution had not proved their case beyond reasonable doubt and that the client should be acquitted of the charges. Richard’s client was then formally released from the dock and a verdict of ‘not guilty’ was entered ion the court record.