A client on trial for assault occasioning grievous bodily harm has been acquitted after just 45 minutes of jury deliberation before Nottingham Crown Court.
Mr K was a young man celebrating at an Urban Hype event at a nightclub in Nottingham. Over 2,000 students were enjoying their evening when a fight broke out on one of the many dance floors, a doorman intervened and was stabbed in the inner thigh, narrowly missing the general artery. The charge was GBH with Intent and possession of an offensive weapon.
The Crown relied upon CCTV, Mr K's t-shirt and jeans which were covered in the doorman's blood, a knife found in the vicinity with a mixed DNA match, and a positive identification of Mr K as the stabber by the same doorman.
The case was prepared by our Catherine Mescall and presented at Nottingham Crown Court by Mr Richard Gowthorpe, a Higher Courts Advocate, who went about unpicking the Crown's case in his usual fastidious style. Due to Mr Gowthorpe’s cross-examination the compilation CCTV was found to be selective, the identification tainted and the mixed DNA match of the Crown's expert proved more helpful than unhelpful in Mr Gowthorpe’s skilled examination.
As a result, Mr Gowthorpe made a submission at the close of the Crown's case that in reality there was no case to answer and the trial should stop there and then. Whilst the judge declined to do this, he accepted that some very helpful directions would need to be given to the jury. They were very properly given and the jury, in our view very properly indeed, acquitted the client after about 45 minutes of deliberation.