X was represented by Louise Sweet KC instructed by JD Spicer Zeb solicitors .
Initially refused bail by the police and Magistrates court bail was granted twice, including after a contested breach of bail allegation.
The issues for the jury centred around whether penetration had taken place at all, consent, X’s reasonable belief in consent, potential collusion and contamination.
A thorough and carefully crafted defence case statement was drafted and provoked useful disclosure for each allegation. Defence preparation included the creation of defence jury bundles comprising social media messages and a living “CV” of defence character material to undermine the prosecution case.
The first allegation in date order was not pursued on the first day of the trial, as the CPS accepted there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction, following disclosure and defence production of social media messages.
The case involved detailed consideration of section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 which provides protection to complainants in proceedings involving sexual offences by restricting evidence or questions about their previous sexual history by or on behalf of the accused, subject to exceptions and with the leave of the court.
In relation to the second allegation, after a six-day trial, there was a speedy (43 minutes) not guilty verdict.
Cases | 7 Feb 23