Our client was one of eight young people charged with an offence of violent disorder.
Aged only 14 at the time of the alleged offence, it was the Crown’s case that our client was part of large group of school children that assaulted a member of the public in a busy high street. It was alleged that the group of children had physically assaulted the member of the public by stamping on him and throwing various items including chairs and tables. The incident was caught on CCTV footage and footage of the incident went viral on social media attracting the attention of the news.
Unrepresented in his police station interview, our client accepted some involvement in the alleged offence. Nonetheless, we advised our client to plead not guilty. We subsequently made representations to the Crown that firstly, they had insufficient evidence to prove their case but also, that it was not in the public interest to prosecute our client for his alleged involvement in this matter. Despite this, the Crown informed us that they were proceeding with the case against our client. We put the Crown and the Court on notice that we would be making an application to exclude our client’s police station interview and we applied for, and were granted, a certificate for assigned counsel. This allowed us to assign one of our specialist youth advocates to represent our client in Court so that he had the benefit of both a solicitor and advocate; the same protections available to an adult charged with the same offence.
The day before the trial, the Crown discontinued the case against our client on the basis that it was not in the public interest to proceed with the prosecution.
Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves of our East Dulwich Office and our in house advocate, Elena Papamichael.