Fiona Robertson‘s client has been acquitted of all charges following an historic sex trial at Peterborough Crown Court. The defendant was accused of sexually assaulting his cousin during the 1980s when he was a teenager and the complainant was a young child. The parties had regularly shared a bed together as children and it was accepted there was the opportunity for the events to have occurred. The defendant denied abusing his cousin stating the parties had enjoyed a good relationship and the allegations had come as a complete shock. It was asserted the complainant had made false allegations of sexual abuse to divert attention from his drug addiction which was going to be exposed by another family member. After Fiona Robertson cross examined the supporting family members it was apparent the complainant had lied about the extent of his family’s knowledge of his drug use thus raising questions about his overall credibility.
This case was unusual because it involved the issue of doli incapax. Fiona Robertson has recently written an article on this rarely used legal principle which can be accessed here. Doli incapax now only applies to offences committed before 1998 where the defendant was alleged to have been under 14 years old. Although the defendant, looking back as an adult accepted that indecently touching and engaging in oral sex with a child was seriously wrong, the jury had to be satisfied that as a child he would have known this and not that the actions were merely rude or naughty. This provided a further hurdle that the prosecution had to cross in order to prove their case. After a 4 day trial the defendant was acquitted of all charges.
Fiona was instructed by Glenda Hair of Hunt & Coombs Solicitors.