Gujarati Mother suffering from depression and PTSD aquitted of threatening her abusive brother-in-law with a blade, and wounding with intent

Monday 11 September 2017

Lalith de Kauwe, who was instructed by Sisira Polpitiya and Prasagna Jayatilaka, Polpitiya & Co Solicitors, Southall secured verdicts of not guilty after a 6 day trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

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The defendant a Gujarati woman of good character allegedly unlawfully stabbed her brother-in-law with a pair of scissors in broad day light in Southall.

The defendant contended that she was threatened by the complainant with cryptic comments about her young son and assaulted when she threatened to call the police. She then had a ‘black out’ or loss of memory as to how a pair of scissors that she had purchased the day before, that was in her handbag was produced and how the injury to the complainant was caused.

Her defence was that the wound to the complainant’s face was a) not deliberate; b) was caused in the course of defending herself; or c) self-inflicted to get her in trouble. The defence instructed a psychologist and a psychiatrist who were of the opinion that the defendant at the time was suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of years of abusive behaviour by the complainant towards the defendant’s family and that the defendant was suffering a dissociative state to explain the defendant’s amnesia.

The defence successfully applied to adduce the complainant’s ‘bad character’, namely a history of allegations of violence against his father, his brother (the defendant’s husband) and threatening behaviour towards the defendant and her children. He had no previous convictions.

The defence instructed digital experts to examine the prosecution CCTV evidence of the incident and to have it enhanced, enlarged and produced in slow motion. Consequently the defence was able to demonstrate that the complainant was a liar and a prosecution witness who claimed that she saw the defendant stabbing at the complainant’s face with the scissors to be as mistaken.

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