CPS drop affray on day of trial
Our client, a young woman with no previous convictions was charged with affray.
Our client was charged alongside two others, who were also charged with causing grievous bodily harm.
The allegation was that in January 2018 our client was involved in an altercation on the tube, where the two complainants in the matter alleged that they were scratched, punched, and kicked by our client and her two co-defendants. There was CCTV footage from the tube showing the altercation. The key evidence in relation to our client came from the witness statements of both complainants, as well as photographs of their injuries. A Police Officer who spoke to our client straight after the incident had also provided a statement to say that our client was drunk.
Our client denied taking part in an affray. Although she accepted being involved in the incident and scratching the complainant, she was trying to break up the fight between the complainants and the co-defendants. Any violence that was used during the incident was in order to break up the fight and defend both herself and her co-defendants.
In order to prepare our client’s defence, we analysed the prosecution witness statements and found that a number of independent witnesses confirmed that our client was attempting to break up the fight. These statements undermined both complainants’ accounts. We obtained a number of character references from colleagues, friends and family members of our client, who confirmed that the violent allegation was not consistent with her character. We also obtained our client’s Custody Record that confirmed that she was not drunk when she arrived at the police station no more than an hour after the incident.
Our client gave a full comment interview at the police station, putting forward a full account of what happened during the incident. We listened to her interview and compared it to the transcript provided by the prosecution which was significantly lacking, we therefore proposed a large number of edits and additions to this transcript.
Ultimately the prosecution offered no evidence against our client on the first day of trial.
Amy Cox and Milly Blunt prepared this case for trial, with Sophia Dower of 2 Hare Court Chambers instructed as counsel.