Brian O’Neill QC Secures Acquittal in Long Running Civil Private Prosecution
Brian O’Neill QC has secured the acquittal of K in a private prosecution brought against him following long running civil proceedings. K was accused of fraud relating to the issue of gas safe certificates; what might be described as a ‘health and safety fraud’. Following a three weeks trial earlier this year, at which an erstwhile co-defendant who had pleaded ‘guilty’ gave evidence for the prosecution, a jury failed to agree and the private prosecutors indicated their intention to retry K. However, following extensive submissions advanced by Brian they decided not to proceed and offered no evidence against K.
Brian was instructed by Steven Barker and Laura St.-Gallay of RIAA Barker Gillette. Speaking after the case Steven said: “This case demonstrates the perils faced by a defendant when disgruntled litigants resort to the criminal courts to pursue their grievances by means of a private prosecution. In such circumstances it is essential to have the services of counsel who knows how to prosecute as well as to defend and who, accordingly, has the ear and the respect of the court and of his opponent. ”