Acquittal In High Profile Southend Gangland Murder

​The Criminal Solicitors in the Serious Crime Team represented a nineteen year old male accused of a joint enterprise Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Grievous Bodily Harm in Southend-on-Sea. The defendant was one of six charged with these offences. The allegation concerned rival gangs in the Southend-on-Sea area who became engaged in increasingly violent attacks against each other. 

On the day of the offence it was alleged by the prosecution that one of the defendants was attacked by the rival gang, who in turn recruited others with the intention of assaulting the victim and his associates. When the group of defendants attended the victims address, armed with weapons, a fight ensued in the middle of a residential street. During this fight the victim received two stab wounds to his back. Despite resuscitation attempts and emergency surgery he was pronounced dead the following morning.

The prosecution relied upon thousands of pages of cell site evidence as well as countless hours of CCTV footage, ANPR and forensic evidence. Stuart Miller Solicitors’ Criminal Lawyers thoroughly scrutinised the evidence to find deficiencies also numerous defence experts. Due to this meticulous preparation, applications to exclude potentially prejudicial evidence were successfully advanced. Crucially, an application to include our client’s previous criminal convictions was also detested with success.

The prosecution case was that the six defendants were guilty of Murder as they had acted as part of a joint enterprise to attack and injure the victim. Our Criminal Solicitors have exceptional knowledge of this area of law as they successfully clarified the law of joint enterprise at the High Court in 2013. Through painstaking work and unrivalled attention to detail they successfully advanced an application of no case to answer. 

The judge accepted that the prosecution had failed to call any evidence to prove a Conspiracy as the phone evidence alone did not indicate a plan to cause Grievous Bodily Harm. The prosecution had also failed to prove that tour client had encouraged or assisted the principal who had stabbed the victim. The judge agreed with the submissions and directed the jury to acquit our client.

To underline the importance of the work completed by our Criminal Solicitors, the principal was convicted in the same trial and faces a life sentence.