Prosecution offer no evidence following argument to stay proceedings as an abuse of process

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today offered no evidence following an application to stay proceedings as an abuse of process. AA was an acutely disabled youth of good character, living in specialised assisted accommodation. Police has been called to the accommodation unit following a complaint that AA had damaged items in his bedroom. When arresting AA, the police deployed OC spray and pinned him to the ground by his neck. The strangulation was captured on police body worn video. AA was subsequently charged with assault emergency worker. The Crown was asked to review the case by defence solicitors and the court on six separate occasions. 

Following public disagreement between counsel for the Crown and the CPS concerning the prospect of conviction, an application was made to stay the proceeding as a ‘category 2’ abuse of process. It was argued that to continue with the prosecution would offend the court’s sense of justice and propriety. Following a line of authority from Hamza, Bloomfield and R (on the application of Smith) the failure to explain the public disagreement between the two arms of the prosecution team was an afront to public justice.  Following service of the skeleton argument the Crown urgently reviewed the case again, and promptly offered no evidence. Verdicts of acquittal were directed by the Court.

Jessie Smith was instructed by Kelly Thomas (Partner, Tuckers) and Kim Evans (Tuckers).