Kerim Fuad KC delivers opening address in complex boarding school attempted murder case

Kerim Fuad KC
By: Kerim Fuad KC April 24, 2024

Kerim Fuad KC addressed a jury at Exeter Crown Court on behalf of a 16-year-old defendant accused of the attempted murder of two fellow students and a teacher at a Devon boarding school.

Sections of Kerim’s opening address have been covered in the press, including BBC News, ITV News, and The Independent.

The defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, denies three charges of attempted murder. It is not disputed that he attacked two fellow students and a teacher at night, but his defence is that the acts took place whilst he was sleepwalking. The prosecution alleges that his actions were deliberate.

Speaking to the jury, Kerim said: “it is not in issue that the defendant caused these awful, awful injuries. Nothing can diminish, nor do we at any stage seek to lessen, the horror of the incident or what these boys went through.

“What is in issue is what caused a 16-year-old boy to strike the heads of his two dorm-mates in such a horror-film way, to then only strike out at his housemaster?”.

“Was he awake and he intended to kill each one of them, or maybe he had been sleepwalking and therefore was not conscious? In fact, he can never have hoped to get away with it. So why? And the answer to that lies at the very heart of the issues.

“No one can be guilty of committing such an offence whilst asleep – you have to be fully conscious. You have to be fully conscious and in control of your actions to be criminally liable for them.”

The case will consider complex evidence regarding sleepwalking and is expected to last several weeks.

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