We represented a client who had been charged with an offence of s.18 GBH. It was the Crown’s case that following an altercation with the complainant, our client obtained a glass bottle and hit him over the head causing two, two inch deep cuts to his face. The incident was captured on very clear CCTV footage.
Our client was under the care of the Community Mental Health Team and had long standing mental health difficulties. We worked with his care coordinator to obtain all of our client’s mental health records and instructed forensic psychiatrist, Dr Dan Cleall, to meet with our client and prepare a full psychiatric report. Whilst the report made clear that our client did not have a defence to the charge on the basis of his mental health, it demonstrated just how unwell our client was at the time of the alleged offence.
We made written representations to the Crown on the basis of the report, as well as Crown Prosecution Service Guidance on prosecuting defendants with mental health difficulties, in which we argued that it was not in the public interest to prosecute our client for this offence. After considering our representations, the Crown agreed that it was not in the public interest to prosecute our client and subsequently offered no evidence. In turn, the Court recorded a formal not guilty verdict.
Had our client been convicted of this offence after trial, the starting point for the Court in terms of sentence would have been 6 years immediate imprisonment.
Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves and Elena Papamichael of our East Dulwich Office.