Jury’s acquittal at rape trial ends five year ordeal for man wrongly convicted

Monday 19 February 2024

David Emanuel KC represented the defendant, instructed by Steven Bird of Birds Solicitors.

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On 16 February 2024, the Defendant, FL, was acquitted of a 2018 rape after a trial at Hove Crown Court, with David Emanuel KC acting.

FL had originally been convicted in 2021. David was instructed in 2022 to consider if there were any arguable grounds. He identified no less than five failings by the trial judge all missed by trial counsel.

He obtained leave to appeal out of time and the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction based on all five of David’s grounds of appeal. They directed a retrial and FL’s release from his seven year prison sentence.

After meeting FL, David identified that he may be suffering from an undiagnosed neurodivergent condition and expert opinions were sought, which identified that FL had autism. At the retrial he was assisted by an intermediary and acquitted unanimously by the jury.

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