Wed, 07 May 2014
Despite it taking a year to investigate and two more years of hearings to try and get trial ready, the case of ‘O’ finally collapsed last week.
‘O’ was charged with assaulting a number of prison officers as they restrained him in a local prison. Despite the fact that there was a lengthy period between the alleged offence and charge, there was no forensic evidence, photographs and not a single witness statement from another prisoner.
No5’s Ian Brownhill was instructed to defend soon after charge. As soon as the charge reached the Crown Court, Ian set about with comprehensive disclosure requests from the Prison Service. It soon became obvious that the account given to a Prison Governor as to what had happened was completely at odds with the account given to the Police.
With Ian Brownhill defending it was not long before more targetted disclosure led to more surprising discoveries. In this case, the Officer who had been in charge of the entire incident with ‘O’ was himself on trial for falsifying documents relating to another inmate’s assault.
On the Friday night before the trial began, the Crown Prosecution Service Offered no evidence against ‘O’. Ian was instructed by ABV Solicitors.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened in Ian’s caseload recently. Earlier in the year, Ian Brownhill was defending high profile and high security prisoner Kevin Thakrar. Thakrar accused of assaulting a prison officer sought out Ian to defend him despite the fact they had never met before.
Within weeks of taking the brief Ian had constructed an argument as to the legality of the procedure that had been held in the Magistrates’ Court, the lack of disclosure and the fairness of the trial process.
Having received Ian’s skeleton argument, the Crown Prosecution Service Offered no evidence against Thakrar. Ian was instructed by Robert Lizar Solicitors.
Ian has appeared in over a hundred Prison Independent Adjudications and is a well-established jury advocate. Ian is always happy to appear for prisoners in the criminal courts where his expertise of prison law combined with his criminal law experience make him a formidable choice for the defence.