Chris Johnston secures acquittal of absent defendant in rape trial
In a trial lasting four days Chris Johnston secured the acquittal of a Romanian national who was accused of raping his partner in Birmingham in 2014. The case was unusual in that the defendant was absent at his trial having only ever appeared in the Magistrates Court before the case was transferred to Birmingham Crown Court. The learned judge had rejected the defence objection for the Crown to proceed in the absence of the accused and the trial continued.The Crown called the complainant and three other civilian witnesses living in the same house. The defendant had given a no comment interview.Based on instructions given at the police station, counsel conducted the entire case without a client and without any defence witnesses. He was cleared of rape within 30 minutes.