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Man acquitted of all charges of assault at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court - 2024

A man was charged with two counts of assault by beating against a noise abatement officer and his neighbour contrary to section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Assault occurs whereby any act is committed by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend immediate unlawful violence. The beating element of this offence involves the intentional or reckless infliction of unlawful force. To prove this offence, the onus is on the prosecution to prove that the elements of the offence were committed without the presence of a valid legal defence. We disproved that the elements of each offence were not present in either case. The sentencing guidelines for the offence of assault by beating carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in custody.

In this instance, the noise abatement officer had attended the client’s house to issue a fixed penalty notice following a false noise complaint made by the neighbour. The client had then contested this penalty, and the noise abatement officer had attempted to handcuff the client. The client resisted the arrest and forced his hands out of the handcuffs in order to return inside his property. Later, the neighbour had falsely alleged that the client had spat at him and thrown a cigarette butt at him. The police were called and the client was arrested. 

Through watching body worn footage and going through various evidence after the client’s arrest, it became evident that the client had instead himself been assaulted by the noise abatement officer. Further, there was no credible evidence proving that the client had assaulted his neighbour. This false allegation had been one of many following an ongoing neighbour dispute. 

In cross-examination, we exposed weaknesses in the neighbour assault allegations, and demonstrated the allegations to be false. The client was subsequently found not guilty for the charge of assault against this neighbour and subsequently this matter was dismissed.  The allegation of assault against the noise abatement officer was also dismissed, as no evidence was offered supporting this

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