Youth Acquitted of Murder
We represented a youth, aged 15, charged with murder and manslaughter in the alternative. He was charged alongside another male youth charged with murder, and a third male charged with assisting an offender. The case also involved youth witnesses that gave evidence via s28 hearings.
Within a month of the transfer of legal aid to our firm, we successfully applied for our client to be released on bail.
The Crown alleged that following the deceased being involved in an altercation with our client’s girlfriend, he along with other males located and murdered him. The Crown sought to rely on a phone call between our client and his girlfriend, the audio of which was partially captured by a CCTV camera. We instructed a speech analyst to consider this audio. The expert’s report concluded that it was not possible to reliably confirm the content of the call in the way suggested by the Crown. As such, this evidence was ruled inadmissible.
In the first trial, our client was acquitted of murder and the jury were hung on the manslaughter charge. The other defendants were convicted of murder and assisting an offender respectively.
The Crown proceeded to retry our client for manslaughter, and the jury returned a hung verdict once again, at which point the Crown offered no evidence against our client and the proceedings concluded.