Mark Robinson of the Garden Court Chambers Crime Team acted for the defendant, instructed by Michael Situ of Lincolns Solicitors.
Mark Robinson secured an acquittal for the defendant, charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A, crack cocaine and heroin, after a six-day trial at Isleworth Crown Court.
The defendant, represented by Mark, and a co-defendant were stopped in a car in 2019 and subsequently searched, where the client informed the police that he had drugs concealed in his underwear. The police also seized a burner phone, a quantity of cash, a ‘tick list’ of drug users that owed money, and the co-defendant’s phone, where messages indicative of drug supply were downloaded. The defendant stated that he found a bag of drugs and a burner phone under a bush as his defence.
Mark was able to obtain disclosable police intelligence that was consistent with the defendant's account that the area where he found the drugs was a known hotspot for drug dealing. Mark also obtained further disclosure of the defendant being seriously assaulted two months after his arrest where he had informed police officers whilst in hospital that he was attacked by drug dealers because he had stolen their drugs. During cross-examination, the OIC accepted that the police failed to forensically analyse the bag the drugs were found in and the burner phone, which the defendant maintained belonged to a third party.
In addition to this, Mark learnt that the co-defendant’s legal team had secretly served an addendum defence case statement directly to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which amounted to a cut-throat defence. The co-defendant’s legal team refused to disclose this material as they sought to use it to ambush Mark’s defendant, however, after a lengthy legal argument in which Mark relied upon Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Judge ordered the defence case statement be disclosed.
The content of the addendum defence statement completely undermined Mark’s defence and was also an attack on his defendant's character. Prosecution counsel said they intended to put both defence statements, which were inconsistent, to the co-defendant if he chose to give evidence. Mark then notified counsel for the co-defendant that he intended to adduce their defendants’ previous convictions in their entirety under s.101(1)(e)(g) Criminal Justice Act 2003. The co-defendant then decided not to give evidence. Both defendants were unanimously acquitted of all charges.