News Criminal Defence 31st Jan 2017

Narita Bahra’s client cleared of a forty six count Indictment containing grooming, rape and sexual assault allegations

Narita Bahra represented a client faced with a forty-six count Indictment, alleging an array of rapes and sexual offences against two step children. Legal argument successfully resulted in the Court directing that the number of counts to be tried before the jury be reduced to twenty-four.

The case was factually complex as one of the complainants had reported the same allegations to the police six years earlier but the Crown Prosecution Service reached a decision not to proceed to prosecution.

The Court allowed the prosecution to adduce evidence of the earlier complaint, the reasons it was not prosecuted and bad character evidence of similar fact, namely evidence from his young spurned mistress that the client had groomed her since she was a child. The client’s mistress gave evidence of incidents which she alleged occurred, which the Prosecution alleged were strikingly similar to the index grooming behaviour alleged against the client.

The client case was simply that no alleged incidents had occurred and that both the complainants and his mistress were fabricating allegations, as a result of the affair becoming uncovered. Unfortunately, the client was unable to provide any tangible proof of this motive.

Detailed written requests for disclosure during the course of the trial resulted in uncovering a witness who had been in contact with all of the witnesses prior to and during the police investigation. The defence were able to demonstrate that this witness could have suggested and contaminated all accounts.

The jury unanimously acquitting the client of all twenty-four counts indicted within an hour.

Narita was instructed by Barry Cheeseman of Cheeseman Solicitors.

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