News Criminal Defence 15th Mar 2021

Narita Bahra QC and Harry Bentley instructed to defend in a cross cultural relationship Murder

Narita Bahra QC and Harry Bentley instructed to defend in a Murder where understanding cross cultural relationships and religious issues was key.

Narita and Harry were instructed to defend the principal defendant, who was alleged to have killed a man who was both his cousin and brother in law. The co-accused was his wife, who had reverted to her husband’s religion and was of dual heritage.

Presenting the case for the defence meant investigating the family dynamics and how behaviour was shaped by the close family ties and culture the defendants came from, including what was expected from certain members of the family, the impact of certain actions, family values, money, hierarchy and honour within the family and community.

This case was particularly unusual as it was also necessary to demonstrate and advance the particular challenges faced by couples in cross cultural relationships living within an extended family such as; coping with religious differences, language barriers, cultural deference, disagreements over family values, different ideas about bringing up children, different methods of dealing with conflict and unsupportive families.

It was necessary in this case to ensure the tribunal of fact appreciated and were educated as to the complex factual and cultural matrix and background in which the offence occurred.

Counsel were instructed by MI Solicitors.

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