R v A,A,I,E - Four Acquittals in Conspiracy to Murder
Our specialist Murder Defence Solicitors secured the acquittal of all four defendants charged with Conspiracy to Murder at the Central Criminal Court.
The prosecution case was that during the summer of 2013 rival gangs in the Ilford area were involved in a ‘tit for tat’ shooting spree. Following a number of shootings in the area, the Metropolitan Police's dedicated gun crime unit, Trident ,conducted a specialist operation. This operation concentrated on the final shooting and resulted in the arrest and charge of four defendants.
The complainant in the case was a second hand car salesman in Ilford. The prosecution alleged that he was lured out of his address by a gang member on the pretext of buying a car. Whilst outside his own home two other gang members riding a motorbike rode up to him and shot him three times causing life threatening injuries. Two defendants were identified by the complainant despite the fact that they were wearing full face motorcycle helmets. The prosecution also relied on extensive cell site and CCTV evidence.
Our Murder Defence Solicitors have defended more than 50 such cases in recent years and secured more than 30 acquittals. With this level of expertise, we were confident to represent all four defendants from the police station stage, all the way to the Crown Court trial.
Despite the seriousness of the allegations we managed to secure bail for three of the defendants during the course of the proceedings. Stuart Miller Solicitors instructed five leading Queen’s Counsel Barristers to represent each of the defendants.
The prosecution's case relied heavily on cell site evidence allegedly placing the defendants at the scene of the crime at the relevant time. Stuart Miller Solicitors are experts in this area and are aware of the limitations of this evidence. We instructed one of the UK's leading cell site experts to challenge the prosecution expert’s conclusions. This resulted in the prosecution expert conceding in Court that the defendants could not be placed at the scene by cell site evidence at the crucial time.
Our Serious Crime Lawyers scrutinised the police case and actual conduct of Trident officers. Throughout the case we requested full disclosure of the police investigation and made a number of special applications at the Crown Court for additional undisclosed material to be released to us.
The police attempted to rely upon Public Interest Immunity (PII) to withhold material from the defence. Stuart Miller Solicitors' Lawyers fought tirelessly to secure the material which ultimately demonstrated that the police conduct had been highly questionable.
Using the material obtained our Lawyers advanced a ‘no case to answer’ application during the trial. Due to the police conduct and the questionable circumstances of the identification by the complainant, the Judge agreed that the prosecution had failed to present sufficient evidence. All five defendants were acquitted.