Our client was charged with an offence of arson whilst being reckless as to whether life was endangered, which carries a potential life sentence.
It was alleged that our client set fire to his partner’s kitchen whilst she was in the property. The Crown to rely on his previous convictions and an alleged confession made by him whilst he was in custody.
Our client was represented by Philip Mahoney, our in-house Solicitor-Advocate and Graham Whittingham who litigated. A fire investigation expert was instructed by us to dispute the Prosecution claim that the fire was started deliberately and that an accelerant was used. Our expert disagreed and the prosecution agreed to amend the evidence to include our expert’s conclusions.
The Crown then offered an alternative charge of a simple arson but our client rejected this as he refused to accept that he was involved in causing any fire. The main witness in the case, our client’s partner refused to give evidence and the arson charge against our client was dismissed.