Yesterday at the Central Criminal Court, Philippe Sossongo, represented by David Emanuel QC of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team, was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter by a jury after just 30 minutes of deliberation.
The Defendant had been convicted of the killing in 2017 when he was 14 years old but, in a decision that could not be reported until today, his conviction was quashed in November 2021 by the Court of Appeal after a successful Criminal Cases Review Commission referral.
The Lord Chief Justice handed down judgment in the Court of Appeal finding that the Defendant’s post-conviction diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) amounted to fresh evidence that could have impacted on the jury’s decision to convict.
The allegation against the Defendant was that he was a secondary party in a joint enterprise stabbing. Expert evidence was called at the appeal and the retrial to the effect that he had significant shortcomings in decision-making, consequential reasoning and understanding the motivations of others. These were matters that went to the heart of the issues in his case.
David Emanuel QC led Yusuf Solley from Furnival Chambers and was instructed by Helen Ahmet of SVS Solicitors, who was responsible for taking the case to the CCRC and whose dedication and tenacity was critical to the eventual overturning of a genuine miscarriage of justice.