Neelam Gomersall’s client acquitted of s18 wounding with intent and s20 unlawful wounding after alleged street glassing
Neelam’s client, MA, was alleged to have glassed the complainant in the face during an argument in the street.
The altercation was witnessed by a nearby shop owner who gave evidence that MA used a broken Guinness bottle to slash the complainant’s cheek before making off.
Another witness filmed the entire incident on his mobile phone. The footage clearly showed MA holding an item in his hand before striking the complainant twice in the face. MA denied that it was a broken bottle and gave evidence that it was a cigarette lighter. He claimed to have acted in lawful self-defence, having been pursued and harassed by the complainant for some time before the altercation became physical. The complainant could be seen adopting a fighting stance in the moments before MA struck him.
The Crown conceded during the trial that MA may have been under attack at the time he struck the complainant but contended that his use of a broken bottle as a weapon made the level of force unreasonable.
The jury deliberated for over five hours before unanimously acquitting MA of the principal offence of s18 wounding with intent, as well as the lesser s20 offence of unlawful wounding.