We represented a young adult of previous good character who had been charged with an offence of possession of a bladed article.

Our client was simply walking down the street when he was approached by a number of police officers. The police proceeded to detain our client for the purposes of a search under S.23 of Misuse of Drugs Act and asked our client whether he had anything in his possession. Our client confirmed that he had a knife in his possession for his own protection after a group of people tried to attack him. A knife was subsequently recovered.

At our client’s first appearance, we advised our client to plead not guilty on the basis that he was in fear of an imminent attack. We also advised our client to elect a Crown Court trial. The Judge at this hearing challenged the defence raised, stating that it was not a defence in law. Despite this, we maintained our position and the matter was sent to the Crown Court.

Following a two day trial, the Jury was unable to reach a verdict. The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently confirmed that they would not be seeking a retrial and offered no evidence against our client. A formal not guilty verdict was recorded and our client remained a young adult of good character.

Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves, a solicitor in our Croydon Crime Team, supported by Niall Shiels, and in Court by Lucy Chapman of Great James Street Chambers.