Stabbing client stays out of jail
Our client was accused of stabbing another in the back. After much work by his legal team he pleaded guilty to a lesser offence than that with which he was charged and avoided an immediate custodial sentence.
Our client was a youth who was part of a group of boys who chased the complainant and his friend. Our client was captured on CCTV lunging towards the complainant’s back as he entered a shop. The complainant and his friend ran into the shop for safety whilst our client and his co-defendants waited outside. Police became aware, and the complainant was found to have suffered a stab wound in his back, the suggestion being that this must have been inflicted by our client when he lunged towards him.
This case gave rise to a number of complicated issues. There were queries over whether the complainant would be willing to attend court and give evidence. The prosecution relied on considerable bad character evidence regarding gang involvement concerning the co-defendants. We had to give consideration to how this evidence might impact on our client.
Following careful consideration of the evidence we were able to persuade the prosecution to accept a plea to the lesser charge of s.20 wounding. On consideration of the sentencing guidelines and the circumstances of the offence a custodial sentence was likely. Additionally our client was facing a mandatory minimum sentence due to a number of previous convictions he had for possession of a knife. We prepared a bundle of papers for the sentencing hearing. Following careful mitigation by counsel a non-custodial sentence was imposed.
Amy Cox was the solicitor, assisted by Fiona Haddadeen. Rhiannon Crimmins of Furnival Chambers was our client’s barrister