We represented a client who had been charged with an offence of assaulting an emergency worker; a charging decision that was made by the police. Our client had called the police to report a crime that had been committed against them. Whilst reporting what happened, our client suffered a panic attack and a police officer refused to let our client out of the vehicle, holding the door closed. It was the Crown’s case that our client assaulted the police officer by pushing him as our client exited the vehicle. At our client’s first appearance, we made representations to the prosecution that the police had no right to detain our client in the vehicle and that it was not in the public interest to prosecute our client in light of the circumstances of the case. The Crown maintained that their position was that it was in the interests of justice to proceed on the basis that this was an alleged assault against an emergency worker. We advised our client to plead not guilty to the offence and elect a Crown Court trial before a jury despite the Magistrates’ Court accepting that the case was suitable for trial in the Magistrates’ Court.

Before our client’s Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service served body worn footage which covered part of the incident; footage which showed just how poorly our client was treated by the police. The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently informed us that having reviewed the footage and the interactions between the officer, our client and members of the public, they would be discontinuing the case against our client.

Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves, a solicitor in our Croydon Crime Team.