If convicted John’s client would have faced a mandatory minimum three year sentence. The Crown alleged that the client barged past the elderly complainant and then proceeded to steal his wallet from his bedroom. The forced entry was captured by good quality CCTV within the home. The client was positively identified by two police officers from the footage and was subsequently arrested. The client gave a no comment interview.
At trial the Crown did not rely on one of the positive identifications as it was conceded that the identification was not PACE compliant following service of a powerful skeleton argument. In his defence the client argued that it was not him on the CCTV and that it could be his cousin. A non-defendant bad character application was granted in respect of the client’s cousin to show that he had propensity to commit offences of dishonesty that targeted the elderly.
At trial the officer who made the identification was robustly cross-examined and conceded that he had quickly looked at the CCTV and had not even entertained that it could be someone else. Following a forceful closing speech the Jury unanimously found the client not guilty within 60 minutes.