News Criminal Defence 26th Jun 2024

Lewis MacDonald acts in application to stay case on grounds of delay

Lewis MacDonald represented a defendant of good character charged with possession of indecent images of a child and extreme pornography. The material was found on the defendant’s phone, seized in August 2018, and he was interviewed in February 2019. The case file was then passed between the CPS and police with no further progress, with the defendant eventually being charged by postal requisition in December 2023 just under five years later.

The defence presented evidence that the delay was purely attributable to the fault of the prosecution, had coincided with a severe decline in the defendant’s health, and had hampered the ability of the defence to deploy material at trial. The application to stay the case was resisted by the prosecution, who insisted the defendant could have a fair trial. HHJ Lodge agreed with the defence submissions that the proceedings were an abuse of process, despite the jurisdiction to stay a case on grounds of delay being one that should rarely be exercised and only in exceptional circumstances. The case against the defendant was permanently stayed. At a hearing the following day the prosecution confirmed they would not appeal the ruling.


Lewis MacDonald was instructed by Graeme Hydari and Kit Gamble of Hodge Jones and Allen.


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