JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors Banner Image


Our Client Found Not Guilty Stabbing S18 GBH Harrow Crown Court 2024

Man acquitted of S.18 GBH with intent charges after pleading not guilty at trial, Harrow Crown Court 2024.

The client was accused of stabbing the victim at his house party. The victim alleged that three males began an argument and subsequently attacked him, one stabbing him and two hitting him with wood and a metal spanner. The client denied any involvement in stabbing or attacking the victim, and subsequently, the matter went to trial.

To prove this offence, the prosecution must prove that the defendant caused grievous bodily harm to the victim and that the defendant intended to cause this exact outcome and nothing less with his actions contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. This offence is indictable and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. ‘Grievous bodily harm’ refers to harm that is of a severe nature, namely stab wounds. The intention element of this offence requires proof that the defendant directly intended to cause grievous bodily harm to another and subsequently acted consciously to bring this exact outcome about. Ultimately, intention is assessed by a jury at trial.


In this matter, the defendant asserted that he had invited some friends to celebrate his birthday on the day of the alleged offence. One of his friends had brought the complainant, whom the defendant had not known well. During the day, all parties drank and enjoyed the birthday celebrations. At some point in the evening an argument broke out with two of the co-defendants and the victim. The client was not present at the commencement of the argument and was not aware of it’s causation. The client saw the complainant becoming aggressive and grabbed him to remove him from his property. The complainant allegedly picked up a piece of wood and began waving it at the client and others. The co-defendant disarmed the complainant and told him not to return. At some point one of the other males stabbed the victim. Our client denied any involvement in a stabbing and plead not guilty at trial.


The law on joint enterprise is complex and generally means that where there are two or more people involved in a crime and one of the individuals commits a further offence, both parties can be convicted of the second crime if the second individual foresaw that the other party was likely to commit that further crime. In other words, two people can be convicted as equally guilty of a crime even if only one person carried out the actus reus of the offence if both parties had the mens rea and foresight of such an offence being committed. In this instance, it was alleged that our client allegedly engaged in a fight with two others against the victim and could have foreseen that another person would have used a sharp object to stab the victim. Foresight is determined objectively by a jury on a fact-specific basis.


However, in this matter, we submitted that stabbing was not a likely or foreseeable outcome during the client’s attempt to remove an aggressive person from his property using force. Based on our submissions and the evidence, the judge directed the jury to acquit our client. The jury returned a not-guilty verdict, and the client was acquitted.




Contact our experts for further advice

Bespoke Private Fee Service

If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future and you have the means to pay for this service

Read More

Do we offer free consultations? 

Read More