Charges Discontinued After Written Representations
We represented a young man of good character who was charged with possession of Class A and B drugs and taking a pedal cycle without the consent of the owner.
Possession of Class A and B drugs
Our client was found to be in possession of a small quantity of ecstasy and cannabis. He told the Police whilst being searched that he was in possession of these drugs, and further admitted the offences during his police station interview. Police then decided to charge our client with possession of Class A and Class B drugs.
We made written representations to the Crown Prosecution Service asking them to offer our client a caution for these offences, on the basis that the offences were low-level, our client had no previous convictions, he admitted the offences at the earliest opportunity, and a prosecution for these offences were not in the public interest.
The prosecution responded to our letter confirming that a caution would in fact be appropriate. As such, these offences will not appear as convictions on our client’s criminal record.
Taking a pedal cycle without the consent of the owner
Our client was also found to be in possession of a Santander bike that was said to have been hired a few days before his arrest and not returned, the allegation being that our client did not have the consent of the owner of the bike (Transport For London) to be in possession of the bike. Our client told Police that he had been given the bike by a friend, and further confirmed this during his police station interview.
Written representations were sent to the Prosecution addressing the strength of the evidence and focusing on the statutory defence to the offence under the Theft Act, namely that ‘a person is not guilty of such an offence if they do anything in the belief that they had the lawful authority to do it, or that they would have the owner’s consent if they knew of his doing and the circumstances of it’. We submitted that this defence applied, and that the fact that the bike had been hired and not returned prior to our client’s arrest was irrelevant given that he believed that he had the lawful authority to be in possession of it.
We also submitted that a prosecution would not be in the public interest given that the loss to Transport For London was minimal, as the bike was returned to them following our client’s arrest. As a result of these representations, the proceedings for this offence were discontinued. As such, that our client did not have to attend Court for this matter, and this offence will not appear on our client’s criminal record.