Successful sex offence appeal
We successfully appealed our client's conviction following police disclosure failings.
Our client, a young man, was charged with the sexual assault of a female commuter at Waterloo station. The complaint was made after momentary contact on an escalator witnessed by an off-duty police officer. Our client was not legally represented in the magistrates’ court. Following conviction he was ordered to pay compensation and complete 240 hours’ community service over 12 months, meaning he was placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for 5 years.
His family came to learn of the conviction after the event. We conducted a proactive appeal to the Crown Court and instructed a leading barrister, Adrian Waterman QC.
We immediately sought specific items of disclosure through service of a voluntary defence statement and learnt the Crown had seized, viewed and then lost important CCTV footage. Before we could make our abuse of process argument, the Crown applied to adjourn the appeal and after this was successfully opposed, applied for a live link for the complainant’s evidence (she is now resident overseas), but this too was successfully resisted.
The appeal was ultimately successful, thereby removing the conviction and its grave consequences for our client.
David Bloom, assisted by Natasha Lake, instructed Adrian Waterman QC of Doughty Street Chambers.