‘Not Guilty’ verdict in sexual assault trial
Win for JFH Crime at Harrow Crown Court
Duncan Roberts and counsel secured a not guilty verdict for his client at the Harrow Crown Court following an allegation of sexual assault.
Our client was accused of a serious sexually assault; the woman alleged that she had been forced to engage in a series of sexual acts against her will. Our client denied the offence, stating that any sexual contact had been with the woman’s consent. A full denial was made in an initial interview and the defendant entered a ‘not guilty’ plea at the Magistrates Court. The case was committed to the Crown Court. Unusually our client declined to attend the trial and the Court decided to proceed in his absence.
We were able to challenge the prosecution evidence, even without being able to put forward a positive defence.
After less than an hour deliberating, the jury unanimously found our client not guilty.
Putting the prosecution to proof
This case serves as a good example of “putting the prosecution to proof”. This can be just as important in conducting criminal litigation as advancing a positive defence. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution and they must convince a jury, or magistrates, of the defendant’s guilt. Clearly, there must have been some doubt in this jury’s mind even without the defendant giving evidence.
Of course, it should not be seen as an encouragement not to attend a trial. Our client has been found not guilty of a serious sexual offence, but will now be facing a charge of failing to surrender.
If you are facing criminal proceedings in either the Magistrates or Crown Court and require representation contact us on 020 7 388 1658 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duncan Roberts, Solicitor
Please note that the information contained in this article was correct at the time of writing. There may have been updates to the law since the article was written, which may affect the information and advice given therein.