Acquittal on 3 Counts of Assaulting an Emergency Worker

Phoebe Coleman

21 November 2023

Our client was accused of 3 counts of assaulting an emergency worker. The incident arose when she and her friend were stopped on the London Underground by British Transport police and informed that they should not have bikes. 

Our client was leaving the station in any event, but officers then raised an issue that they were not wearing masks. Finally, officers began to suggest that they had not paid for their tickets. This altercation unfortunately escalated and became physical. Our client’s friend was detained by 4 officers and held on the ground while screaming that she was in pain. 

Our client was considerably distressed at seeing this happen and tried to intervene. She was accused of scratching officers and spitting at them. 

We were able to obtain medical records showing that our client was exempt from wearing a mask and bank statements showing her payment for travel. We also obtained medical records which assisted in explaining why seeing her friend detained by several male officers and in distress may have been especially upsetting for her. 

We obtained helpful disclosure regarding internal police communications following the incident and material regarding the arrest of another male who tried to intervene to help our client’s friend. We were able to contact him and we were also able to trace another witness to the incident via Twitter. 

After a 3-day trial, our client was acquitted of all charges. She was overwhelmingly grateful for the support of her legal team. She stated: 

“You should go to sleep feeling amazing and knowing that you helped someone.” 

She had been waiting for trial for 3 years and is relieved to be able to return to her life without the possibility of a conviction hanging over her. 

Phoebe Coleman was the solicitor with conduct of this case. Henry Dickson of 25 Bedford Row was instructed. 

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