Offer of No evidence on Non-fatal Strangulation and Common assault

Phoebe Coleman

05 April 2024

Our client was charged with causing criminal damage (smashing a bottle) and making threats to kill in relation to his mother. He was also charged in the same proceedings with assault by beating and non-fatal strangulation of his ex-partner.

Following R v Cook [2023] EWCA Crim 452, Courts have been taking a starting point of 18 months immediate imprisonment in strangulation cases. Our client, a man of good character, had never been in custody before and was daunted by the prospect of such a sentence.

We drafted lengthy written representations. We argued that there was not a realistic prospect of conviction based on significant weaknesses in the evidence, as the witnesses appeared visibly intoxicated when providing their statements. We set out a timeline noting the proximity of when the statements were taken to the apparent intoxication seen on the attending officer’s body-worn video.

We also argued that it was not in the interests of justice to prosecute our client, relying on his good character and Crown’s own COVID-19 guidance. We submitted these representations to the Crown on three separate occasions, requesting that they review the case afresh following disclosure and other updates in the case.

The week before trial, the Crown agreed to accept a plea to criminal damage only. Offers of no evidence were given for the common assault and non-fatal strangulation, and the charge of threats to kill was ordered to lie on file. Our client was sentenced to time served and was very pleased with the outcome given the severity of the original charges.

Phoebe Coleman was the solicitor with conduct of this case. Rosalia Myttas-Perris of Crucible Law was instructed.

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