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Not Guilty Murder - Old Bailey 2023

We represented a client who was charged with Murder of a friend during an argument over drugs. The victim had received facial injuries as a result of the fight and subsequently attended A&E as he was vomiting and passing out. The hospital identified a broken nose and facial bruising and some bleeding on the brain. He was discharged from the hospital and was found dead at his home a  few days later. Our client was arrested and charged with murder as CCTV put him at the scene at the time of the fight and the victim had made a number of statements to witnesses to identify the client as his assailant. Our client was advised to plead not guilty. A pathologist was instructed to consider the cause of death. A neuropathologist identified a second separate bleed to the brain which must have occurred several days after the first fight and could therefore not have been caused by the client. The Crown offered no evidence on the murder but proceeded with an allegation of section 18 GBH on the basis that the first bleed and the fractured nose were sufficient to establish really serious harm and it was a matter for the Jury to decide whether our client intended to cause the injuries. 24 hours of CCTV was viewed to see if we could establish if anyone else could have inflicted the injuries. Careful and detailed questioning of our pathologist established that the first bleed was not necessarily caused by the blows to the victim’s face. The Crown’s pathologist accepted this finding and the Crown accepted a plea to a lesser charge which resulted in our client receiving a short custodial sentence which lead to his immediate release. 

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