May 2015

Lansbury Worthington have achieved a number of notable successes in May and below are a sample of some of those the successes.

R v A

This client was accused of male rape and was on trial before Woolwich Crown Court. The case has been prepared for trial by his solicitor, Caitriona McLaughlin, and he was represented at the trial by Richard Gowthorpe.

Mr A denied the offence and asserted from the moment of his arrest that the offence had not been committed. He had initially been remanded into custody by the Crown Court, but was released after submissions were made by his solicitor.

The prosecution evidence against Mr A was thoroughly examined by Caitriona who soon realised that the case against the client was really very weak. These concerns were raised to the prosecution at a preliminary court hearing and this provoked a review of the case by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Ultimately the CPS came to the decision that the case did not meet the evidential standard to continue with a prosecution (no realistic prospect of conviction) and formally offered no evidence. This resulted in a formal finding of ‘not guilty’ being recorded and the proceedings coming to a conclusion.

R v D

Mr D was on trial before the City of London Magistrates’ Court for allegations of assaulting a police officer and causing a public order offence. The evidence against the client was in the form of police testimony and CCTV evidence. Although this evidence appeared on first inspection to be incriminating, after taking detailed instructions from the client there appeared to be grounds for the client putting forward self-defence.

The client was represented by his solicitor-advocate, Iain Jenkins, and the prosecution evidence was thoroughly examined by the defence at trial. After hearing the client’s account and closing submissions by Iain, the magistrates accepted that the client was indeed acting in self-defence and he was found not guilty on both charges.

R v D'S

This client appeared before Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court accused of committing a racially aggravated public order offence in which she used aggressive and racist language towards a member of the public. The District Judge considered the offence to be aggravated not only by the duration of the offence, the language used, but also the fact that the complainant was performing a public service. The District Judge therefore adjourned the sentencing so that pre-sentence reports could be prepared with particular consideration given to making a community order with an unpaid work requirement.

The case came back to court three weeks later, and in the meantime, with the help of Lansbury Worthington, the client had a number of key pieces of evidence to support her mitigation. This included character statements from a previous employer as well as medical references. The client was represented by Nick Leamy who put forward the mitigation, explained the client’s situation and asked the court to take an exceptional course of action and to step back from the level of sentence suggested by the District Judge and the sentencing guidelines.

The magistrates were clearly impressed with the evidence the client and Lansbury Worthington had managed to produce, and after hearing Nick’s representations they took the exceptional step of passing the lowest sentence within their powers. The client avoided a community order and unpaid work and instead received a conditional discharge.