Benjamin Aina QC and Maria Karaiskos Conclude an Intense Trial Lasting Almost Four Months at the Old Bailey in Front of The Common Serjeant.

Benjamin Aina QC and Maria Karaiskos conclude an intense trial lasting almost four months at the Old Bailey in front of The Common Serjeant. Four defendants charged with offences arising out of a fatal stabbing in East London in 2019, two of those defendants aged 14 and 16 years old at the time and charged with murder.

Complex evidential issues arose during the trial, which Benjamin and Maria challenged with written and oral submissions at every stage, including:

1- DNA: the reliability and admissibility of Likelihood Ratios based on a mixed profile of four or more contributors; interpretation of statistical match probabilities; relevance of the DNA of a potential female relative to the sample; lengthy cross-examination and s.78 PACE arguments on expert evidence from EuroFins forensic laboratory.

2- Article 8 ECHR: admissibility of electronic tag data inadvertently monitored by curfew units installed at unknown addresses throughout London; Right to Privacy encroached by this intrusive surveillance; defendants subject to tag unaware their movements were being monitored.

3- Bad Character Evidence: admissibility of gang affiliations and previous convictions, s.101(1)(d) Criminal Justice Act 2003

4- Articles 5 and 6 ECHR: custody time limits and listing of trial during the current pandemic; prioritisation of case based on young age of defendants.

Benjamin and Maria were instructed by Emi Puri from Henscott Solicitors. 

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