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University student receives No Criminal Penalty for GBH

Bind over at court - no criminal penalty
16 August, 2021
Criminal
Assault

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Case study summary

Our client was a student with no previous involvement with the police. He was accused of using a knife to injure another student and in his interview, we put forward a statement claiming self-defence. On the first day of trial the prosecution offered a bind-over.

Case study

Our client was a PhD physics student accused of Section 20 GBH without intent. He came from an incredibly supportive family who had never had any involvement with the police in their lives. The initial call from the police came as a massive shock to them.

The prosecution's case was that he deliberately used a knife as a weapon to injure a fellow student after a night out at their shared accommodation. He called our firm as soon as the police contacted him and in his interview, we put forward a strategic prepared statement giving his version of accounts and how he behaved in self-defence.

From the very beginning, our main goal and everything we did was to try and avoid a charge. However, given the fact that a knife was used and injuries were caused, the case proceeded to Birmingham Crown Court.

Our client encountered several personal difficulties throughout the course of the police investigation and court case, including family deaths and not being able to see his wider family abroad due to Covid-19. We supported him through all of his mental health struggles and he was able to stay fighting.

After a tenacious fight with the prosecution over disclosure, we discovered material which called the credibility of the complainant and his friends seriously into question. Nevertheless, we proceeded to trial and on the first day at Court, the prosecution were convinced by us, along with our client's Queen's Counsel, to offer a bind-over. This is a civil disposal rather than a criminal penalty of any kind.

As a result of accepting the bind-over, our client was able to continue his studies with no further disruption and without a criminal case hanging over his family.

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