Mark Graffius QC and Sophia Dower secure a Not Guilty verdict in historic murder trial
Mark Graffius QC and Sophia Dower secure a Not Guilty verdict in historic murder trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
This was one of the first trials to successfully take place under the new Covid-19 safety measures implemented in the Crown Court.
On 26 December 1998, Grant Byrom suffered a fatal stab wound to the heart after an altercation outside an address in Colchester where a Boxing Day party was taking place. The Crown alleged that the Defendant, Michael Donnelly, armed with a knife, attacked Grant Byrom outside his home. The Crown’s case was that this was a revenge attack for an incident earlier in the day during which Byrom had glassed a friend of Donnelly’s at the pub. Immediately after the altercation, Donnelly fled to London and never returned to Colchester. He remained on the run for some 22 years living in both Spain and Thailand, until he returned to Colchester and handed himself in at the police station in 2019. The Defendant maintained his innocence throughout, alleging that he was the victim of an attack by Byrom and that the person or people who came to his aid were responsible for the murder. The Defendant refused to provide the names of those responsible for the murder to either the police during his interview or to the jury during his trial.
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