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Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Chambers, leading Colin Witcher of Chambers Crime and Regulatory Group, today secured the unanimous acquittal of a young man alleged to have been involved in a “brutal and savage” murder. The trial before HHJ Leonard QC at the Central Criminal Court began on the 2nd December 2019 and lasted four weeks. It was alleged that the victim was stabbed repeatedly to death with a large kitchen knife in front of horrified eye-witnesses in retaliation for being on the “territory” of the three defendants having threatened two of them with a knife. Counsel were instructed on behalf of the first defendant.
It was the defence case that the defendant together with a friend were being robbed by the victim, in an unprovoked incident, when another male emerged from nearby bushes and murdered the victim. It was advanced that there were, in effect, two separate incidents and thus the absence of a joint enterprise. Eye witnesses were skilfully cross-examined to establish a punctuation in time between the initial start of the incident, namely an altercation between the victim and the defendant said to be a robbery, and the end of the incident, when the stabber emerged from a hiding position and brutally attacked the victim.
This was a highly emotive case involving four young males and brought under the spotlight the issue of joint enterprise post Jogee, and the sheer brutality and prevalence of knife crime.
The stabber was duly convicted of Murder, and shall be sentenced at a later date. The defendant and his friend were acquitted, however in such sad cases there are never any winners. Counsel were instructed by Mahomed Ismail, Director of MFI Law, London.
This case was another acquittal for Mr Fuad QC marking number eleven of the most recent and sensitive murder cases in which Mr Fuad QC has successfully defended. It is the third consecutive acquittal for Mr Fuad and Mr Witcher when defending together in such cases.
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