Success Stories

Offer of no evidence for 3 offences after letter of representations

By Annie Loh  |  27.03.2024

Our client was charged with three offences: s.20 wounding, s.47 assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and possession of an offensive weapon. All charges related to an incident on a bus where there was an altercation between our client and another male.

Our client had decades’ long history of mental ill health, with his main condition being schizoaffective disorder. He had been in and out of hospital care for the better part of his adult life. Since his arrest in respect of this matter in 2022, our client had been detained under the Mental Health Act and was under hospital care up to the conclusion of his case in 2024.

We had our client assessed by three psychiatrists to consider his fitness to plead, as the second psychiatrist found that he was fit to plead. The overall conclusion of the three reports was that he was not fit.

The case had unique evidential issues including a mental health nurse who on the scene identifying our client as the attacker to police but refusing to provide a statement. Her evidence was therefore unable to be called by the Prosecution. The Prosecution applied under res gestae hearsay to adduce her comments. The complainant in this case unfortunately passed away from circumstances unrelated to the case. The Prosecution therefore also applied to adduce his evidence via a hearsay application. Both of these applications to adduce were opposed.

Given the circumstances of the case, we submitted a letter of representations to the Prosecution requesting that they review their decision to prosecute the case. We submitted that it was not in the interests of justice to continue the prosecution given that our client was unfit to plead, still under hospital care, and that the complainant was no longer able to benefit from any outcome of a conviction.

In direct response to our representations, the Prosecution offered no evidence in the matter against our client.

Amy Cox and Annie Loh prepared this case. Libby Anderson of Crucible Law was the barrister instructed.

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