Prosecution drop robbery case
Our client, a young family man of good character, was charged with robbery, attempted robbery, and possession of a knife. He was facing a sentence of up to four years imprisonment if convicted.
The allegation was that in January 2018 our client robbed two bookmakers’ premises, wearing a mask and using a knife to threaten the staff. There was CCTV footage from inside the bookmakers showing both robberies. The key evidence came from a prosecution witness who lived directly behind one of the betting shops. The witness saw a man, wearing clothing similar to that of the suspect, get out of a car and start acting suspiciously. This witness also saw him discard a bottle on the floor, and she took down his number plate accordingly. The registration matched our client’s registered vehicle. The bottle was also seized and analysed, and DNA was found on the bottle that was said to belong to a female relative of the client, such as a daughter or a mother.
Our client denied committing the two robberies, although he accepted being in the area at the time when one of the robberies was taking place.
In order to prepare our client’s defence, we instructed experts in respect of DNA, and made enquiries to support his instructions as to where he was at the time of one of the robberies. The prosecution eventually offered no evidence against our client. The key prosecution witness was unable to attend Court, but we were unwilling to accept her evidence being admitted as hearsay and a written argument against any such application was submitted. We argued that her statement was of considerable value to the case, and there was no other evidence other than her statement that showed the suspect exiting our client’s vehicle. The prosecution found that without her evidence, there would not be a realistic prospect of conviction.
Amy Cox and Milly Blunt prepared this case for trial, with Nick Cockrell of 7 Harrington Street Chambers instructed as counsel.