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A distressed young man contacted us on Saturday afternoon advising that his current lawyer was suddenly unavailable for his defended hearing which was listed in court for the following Tuesday, three days later.
He was all the more concerned because the case was very serious, involving ‘grievous bodily harm‘, and his lawyer had been involved from the start.
The specific allegation was that he had punched the alleged victim (or ‘the complainant’) several times to the head fracturing his eye socket and causing permanent injury.
The complainant was hospitalised for several days and titanium plates had to be inserted into his head, which amounts to ‘grievous bodily harm’.
The case was one of self-defence.
We organised to receive the large brief of materials and to meet with the young man at our offices the next day, Sunday.
We took the time to carefully read through all materials and to explain the issues and procedure.
He eagerly engaged our services.
Our team of Senior Lawyers met early the next morning to discuss defence strategy and a further conference was organised with our client that afternoon.
We were then ready to defend the case without exposing our client to unnecessary further costs or delays by applying to adjourn the case, which may not have been allowed in any event.
In court, the complainant was cross-examined at length and various inconsistencies were exposed between his testimony and other evidence, including his earlier police statements.
The cross-examination made it clear that, at the very least, the complainant had poor and unreliable recall of the actual events.
The tactical decision was then made to consent to the admission of other prosecution statements which became beneficial for our purposes. This meant that those witnesses were not required for cross-examination.
We also secured the significant concession that our client’s police interview raised the possibility of self-defence.
This meant that we did not need to call our client to the witness stand and expose him to cross-examination by the prosecutor.
The court then accepted our argument that there was a ‘reasonable possibility’ that our client had acted in self-defence .
Accordingly, he was found ‘not guilty’ and the case was dismissed.
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