Assault and Disorder Charges Successes
MTM digs deep to uncover the real facts in assault, theft and breach of the peace case
This was a case of a man charged with assault, theft and breach of the peace. He was arrested at his own business in Glasgow and taken away in handcuffs – in relation to an incident 11 years earlier. He discovered he was being interviewed and charged relative to conduct towards his wife (more precisely, his ex-wife). He was treated as a domestic abuser and fast-tracked to court.
MTM discovered that he and his wife had separated more than 10 years previously and that she was not fit to look after the children, who were primary-school age. The accused had suggested she go on holiday and have a break, which she did – only to return and tell him she had met someone else and intended moving to another European country and was taking the children with her. The children, family and grandparents had no connection with that country and did not speak the language. The accused had to go to court to prevent the children being taken away. He was successful in this endeavour, which cost him a considerable amount of money. Unusually, the Sheriff awarded him expenses in this case, which had taken place some 5 years previously.
It took a long time for the expenses to be assessed and even longer for his wife to be served with the charge to pay the expenses. In fact, MTM discovered that this happened 24 hours before the ex-wife went to the police with the story of what she alleged had happened some 11 years previously. MTM cited as a defence witness the Sheriff who had dealt with the original case and recovered the process in that case from the Clerk's office. MTM discovered that the arguments for taking the children anywhere had essentially collapsed, and that the ex-wife who had made the allegations had been saying that she was unwell at the time when she was due to pay the expenses that the court had ordered. MTM went to the Crown and said that the case should not proceed for breach of the peace charge (the other charges of assault and theft having already been dropped by the Prosecution). They insisted that they would proceed – but the day before the trial, the Crown contacted MTM to say they had decided not to take the case any further.
The effort in this case to protect this man's reputation was monumental. It included citing the senior Sheriff in the Sheriffdom as a defence witness, as well as citing the Sheriff Clerk and an English process server who had been trying to serve the expenses decree. All of this served to underline the lengths to which to which MTM was prepared to go to ensure that the true state of affairs was revealed and the client acquitted of all charges.
MTM safeguards client's liberty in assault on footballer case
In a high-profile case involving a young footballer, an MTM client was accused of a serious assault. One punch from the assailant had broken the victim’s jawbone. The incident resulted in a large public appeal on Facebook, and a press release, urging the attacker to come forward.
In fact, the young man who had carried out the assault on the footballer contacted Neil Hay of MTM directly and pleaded guilty. The question was: could MTM keep him out of jail? The case was made even more difficult not just by the severity of the assault itself, but also by the considerable loss of earnings sustained by the victim, who was a championship footballer: the injury meant that he was off work for 6 weeks. Despite all of this, MTM managed to keep the assailant out of jail.
Client receives absolute discharge in police assault case
Courts take a strict view of cases that involve an assault on a police officer in the course of their duties. MTM represented an oil refinery worker, and a first-time offender, who was charged with a police assault under the Police and Fire Reform Act 2012. He had attempted to head butt a police officer not only while the officer was on duty but also attending to a serious road traffic accident.
In a highly unusual outcome, MTM were able to persuade the Court, in light of our client’s good character, to grant him an absolute discharge. A conviction in this case would almost certainly have ended our client's career.
Street robbery case dropped
An MTM client has been acquitted of armed street robbery charge. This was a highly serious case of someone being accused of holding a knife to someone's throat. The charge was dropped by the prosecution at the trial stage
MTM unearths CCTV footage and secures acquittal in serious assault case
Sometimes trouble can come looking for a person. An MTM client was charged with an alleged incident that formed the basis of a case brought before Stirling Sheriff Court. Our client was charged with a serious assault that had caused a double fracture of the victim’s jaw.
MTM's own background research discovered, however, that there was CCTV evidence of the circumstances leading up to the alleged assault. The CCTV footage clearly showed the victim assaulting our client. Critically, this supported our client’s defence of self defence on the basis that he was very worried that he was about to be assaulted again by the alleged victim - and therefore struck him once in self defence to protect himself. Our client was found not guilty of the charge.
MTM defends client in hillwalking incident
The law has recently been amended to allow for prosecutions on indictment to be carried out against anyone found to be in possession of a sharp item, unless the person can present a valid and reasonable excuse to the jury. Conviction can result in up to four years imprisonment.
MTM has defended a client who was found to be in possession of a sharply pointed implement. This is a charge that most people will associate with urban areas, but in fact the client lives in a rural area. He was out walking and had come down from a hillside in response to a call for assistance from people who were out in the area and had got into difficulties. When the police arrived on the scene, they found our client to be in possession of the item. MTM was able to establish that the man had been out walking his dogs on the hills, and the charge against him was dropped.
'Overwhelming' case overturned by careful cross-examination
Sometimes a case can appear 'overwhelming' – on paper at least. It's only when you get into the details that it can look quite different.
In a case where an MTM client had been charged with assault, and the case against him looked to be compelling, the MTM defence team was able to establish some key facts and concessions from the witnesses in the case. Careful cross-examination revealed that the Crown witnesses had been drinking for many days at the time of the alleged assault. This raised a question about how 'fit' they were when they were interviewed by the police; in other words, MTM was able to attack the accuracy of the initial statements that they had given to the police officers. In fact, the witnesses themselves conceded that they were possibly entirely mistaken because of the amount of alcohol they had consumed. The case against our client was dropped.
MTM defends assault case involving alleged 'glassing'
MTM has successfully defended a client involved in a ‘glassing’ incident in Stirling. The complainer had started the violence and MTM’s client had acted in self-defence to protect himself from being punched in the face.
Unfortunately, given the sudden nature of the violence, our client had to react immediately and was unable to put down the glass he was holding at the time. The person who started it all received a wound that required 26 stitches. MTM’s accurate presentation of the case led to the account being accepted by almost the entire jury, and the client was found not guilty of assault
MTM uncovers conflicting Crown witness statements to secure acquittal in assault case
The captain of a Central Scotland football team who had struck a player of an opposing team was facing a charge of assault. There was no doubt of his having done it. The only question was why.
Despite the evidence of four members of the opposing team that he had done it on an unprovoked basis, MTM established that he had done it to defend one of his players. MTM was able to secure the acquittal because it exposed the Crown witnesses as having tried to mislead the jury as the evidence they gave in court conflicted with the evidence they gave to the police.
MTM uses expert knowledge of Criminal Procedure Act to get charges dropped
The police had previously detained a man for an assault and had questioned him on that basis. Then halfway through questioning, the police had changed tack to ask him about a housebreaking case. He also agreed in the course of the interview to give a DNA sample.
Called in to act for the man, MTM challenged the procedures. The law states that police are not able to obtain a DNA sample in relation to another alleged offence other than the one they are investigating at the time with a person. This was a case that involved drilling down into the details of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Client acquitted in serious assault Jury trial in Stirling as MTM uncovers evidence not known to the prosecution
An MTM client has been acquitted of a serious charge of serious assault. The case was one of aggravated assault in which it was alleged that our client had bitten off a person’s finger. Detailed behind-the-scenes investigation and work with witnesses in the case revealed information that was not known to the prosecutor.
The prime witness had alleged that our client had committed the assault, but research and meticulous checking of accounts revealed that she had been seen with blood around her own mouth. She also had the victim’s blood on her clothing, a fact that was established by DNA experts brought in by the MTM team. Forensic tests showed no blood or other forensic evidence to link our client with the crime.
This was a case in which the Crown case simply did not disclose all the evidence. So it was careful research methodology on the part of MTM’s legal and forensic team that played a major part in saving the client from being wrongly convicted. A period of several years imprisonment would have been the inevitable outcome of a conviction in this serious case. This was the second case in a week won by the same senior Solicitor-Advocate.
Prisoner cleared of weapon charge in Edinburgh Jury Trial
A prisoner charged under Section 49C of the Criminal Law Act 1995 for having a weapon in prison has been found not guilty after a two-day Jury Trial in Edinburgh. Such a charge can on conviction attract a prison sentence of up to four years.
The acquittal was achieved despite evidence from two prison officers that the prisoner had not only admitted having the weapon in prison, but had handed it over to them. The item, an axe/hammer, had been made in the prison workshop and the jury were persuaded by a senior MTM advocate that the client had it as a tool.
Schoolboy avoids criminal record
It is hard to think of anything that can blight a young person’s future more than getting a criminal conviction. A schoolboy charged with assault has been successfully defended in the Sheriff Court from just such a prospect.
MTM was able to persuade the Fiscal to deal with the case by way of plea adjustment, which removed some of the more major charges. Community service and an absolute discharge followed – this is not a conviction in law and the very least that the client could have received. The case was of critical importance to the fifth-year pupil who avoided getting a criminal record.
MTM client receives absolute discharge in a serious Jury Court case
An MTM client facing a charge of assault that could have resulted in a sentence of up to five years imprisonment has received an absolute discharge instead.
The client pled guilty to a charge of assault to the severe injury and impairment of the complainer or victim of the assault. Following reports, MTM was able to persuade the Sheriff to grant an absolute discharge. This is not a conviction in law because the circumstances are so mitigatory.
In other words, MTM was able to save the client from conviction by presenting evidence surrounding the circumstances of the assault. It was these circumstances and MTM’s skill in presenting them that saved the client from receiving a conviction
Serious charge of assault ends in admonishment only
A member of the MTM legal team has defended a client charged, together with a co-accused, with assaulting a female by repeatedly punching and kicking her on the head and body, pushing her to the ground and holding a firearm or imitation firearm against her neck, all to her injury.
The case proceeded to trial and evidence was heard from the complainer and other eye witnesses, but, on the second day of the trial, MTM was able to persuade the court to accept a plea of guilty to a reduced charge of breach of the peace. Further persuasion on the part of the MTM team meant that the client was in the end simply admonished by the Sheriff, given that the client had spent around five months in custody.
Detailed medical research proves essential to a case
In a recent very unfortunate case a client faced an allegation of assault to severe injury, permanent impairment and permanent disfigurement. A great deal of medical evidence was led to establish the existence of a debilitating condition as a direct result of the alleged assault. MTM Defence Lawyers sought and recovered the full medical history of the complainer in the case and the hospital records in relation to the injury itself.
Research carried out by MTM not only suggested that the alleged new condition was in reality a pre-existing one, but it also suggested that the hospital records in respect of the alleged victim may well have been inaccurate. The new information meant that medical evidence could be resolutely challenged as part of the cross-examination of the medical witnesses. The Jury were able to return a unanimous verdict of not guilty within 15 minutes of retiring to consider their verdict.
MTM wins six-day Sheriff and Jury trial on two serious assault charges
In a demanding case, involving a Sheriff and Jury trial lasting six days at Livingston Sheriff Court, one of our Solicitor Advocates was able to secure the acquittal of our client on two very serious charges of assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and danger of life.
Drawing extensively on statements made by witnesses to the police, which contrasted with their evidence in Court, our Solicitor Advocates demonstrated to the Jury that these witnesses were not credible and their evidence could not be relied on. The client was acquitted of one of the charges on a ‘no case to answer’ submission that there was insufficient evidence in law to convict him of the charge. In relation to the other charge the Jury were persuaded after the six-day trial to acquit him of that charge.
It was a very serious case because the injuries to one of the alleged victims involved a major fracture to his ankle, which has left him with permanent damage.
Prosecution discontinued in Sheriff and Jury trial
A client of MTM was acquitted after a Sheriff and Jury Trial of a charge of forcing his way into a house wearing a balaclava and wielding a weapon. The case was obviously a very serious case indeed and a very frightening experience for the alleged victim. However, detailed preparation of the client’s defence and expert presentation of his case at the trial led to the prosecutor being persuaded to discontinue the prosecution against him mid-trial.
Client acquitted of serious charge of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement
After a three-day Sheriff and Jury Trial in Alloa, a client of MTM was acquitted of a very serious charge of assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement, of slashing the complainer with a knife across the face, whereby the complainer received serious injury.
Having spent nearly four months in custody, the client was delighted to be exonerated of this very serious charge and be able to walk away a free man and return to his family.
MTM secures acquittal on serious charges and secures special arrangements for vulnerable witness
One of our clients, together with three other people, was charged with assault to severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and danger of life. The injuries to the complainer were exceptionally serious in that he now suffers from permanent hearing loss and other permanent injuries.
After a four-day Sheriff and Jury trial, MTM was able to secure the client’s acquittal on all of the serious aspects of the charge, reducing them to only a very simple assault to injury. The reduction led to him being required to undertake a short period of unpaid work. By contrast two of the co-accused were convicted, and one of them was sentenced to a seven-year extended sentence. It all goes to show how serious a case this was for the client and how different the outcomes were for those involved.
The case was remarkable too in another way in that we were able to convince the Sheriff that our client would be a ‘vulnerable witness’ when he gave evidence in the trial, under Section 271F of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. This is highly unusual, and perhaps one of the first examples of its kind in Scotland. At a legal debate we were able to persuade the Sheriff to grant our application for our client to be allowed to give his evidence by CCTV link from a separate room in the Court building, because of serious and prolonged intimidation of him by the other co-accused in the case.
Expert preparation wins High Court case
A three week trial at the High Court in Glasgow, relating to a very serious firearms, abduction and serious assault case, has ended in an MTM client being acquitted of all charges on the Indictment. Our client’s two co-accused were convicted and can now each expect to receive sentences of many years imprisonment.
MTM prepared a detailed defence over many months, which involved enlisting the services of one of Scotland’s leading QCs and instructing expert witnesses – experts we called on included a mobile telephone analyst, an experienced firearms expert and a professor of medicine. It was this careful preparation and legal representation which led to the successful outcome for our client.
MTM helps client in the High Court to avoid prospect of a 6 - 7 year prison sentence
High Court trials involve some of the most serious and challenging cases that we deal with at MTM. A client has been found not guilty of assault and robbery of a shopkeeper after a High Court trial in which one of our solicitor-advocates mounted a compelling and successful defence. The case for the defence was founded on extensive and detailed preparation and research, which was carried out by MTM over a period of almost a year leading up to the trial.
Had the client been convicted, he would have faced a prison sentence of 6 - 7 years. That’s a daunting prospect for anyone. Thanks to MTM’s careful work in and out of court, the client was, to his great relief, able to walk away a free man.
Acquittals in the same Court at two separate Jury trials for serious crimes of violence cases
Two Jury trials in the same Court have resulted in acquittals for each client. Each was charged with very serious crimes of violence, and one additionally with a charge involving a severe injury, causing permanent disfigurement to the face of the alleged victim. Had they not been acquitted, they would almost certainly have been sentenced to long custodial sentences.
MTM contests poor quality of evidence in assault case
The prosecutor in an assault case against an MTM client has discontinued the prosecution in the middle of a trial. The case involved a client accused of causing injury by punching a person who then fell over, striking their head on a television stand, suffering a serious injury to the back of their head. MTM was successful in demonstrating the poor quality of the prosecution evidence against the client, who was found not guilty after the case was dropped.
Client acquitted of serious assault despite Crown evidence from three eyewitnesses
An MTM client has been acquitted of a charge of a very serious assault involving an attack on a person with weapons that caused serious injury. Crown evidence included the testimony of three eye witnesses who attested they saw our client attack a man with a hammer. The Crown case also put forward evidence that a hammer with blood on it was found in our client’s vehicle.
Extensive medical research by MTM into the complainer’s injuries, accompanied by detailed cross-examination of the Crown witnesses brought the case to a conclusion in favour of our client. The Jury were asked to acquit our client on the basis that the very serious and extensive assault as described by the three Crown witnesses was unlikely to have caused the man’s injuries and did not match the their description of how he received these injuries. Our client was duly acquitted based on the inconsistencies uncovered in the Crown’s evidence by the MTM defence team.
Client cleared of serious assault charge
In another challenging case, an MTM client was acquitted of a charge of serious assault. Once again, painstaking preparation and presentation led to a successful outcome for an MTM client in the Sheriff and Jury court.
Not guilty pleas accepted by the prosecution on two related charges
An MTM client has been cleared of two separate charges of attacking two individuals with a weapon. The client was acquitted following diligent preparation work which undermined the reliability of prosecution witnesses in court. In each of these very serious cases a ‘not guilty’ plea was accepted by the prosecution.
Client in serious assault and robbery case saved from lengthy prison sentence – despite eyewitness evidence
An MTM client has been successfully defended in case of serious assault, which would have almost certainly resulted in a prison sentence of many years had a conviction been secured by the prosecution.
The client was charged with breaking into the home of an elderly lady, committing a serious assault upon her and attempting to rob her. After a four-day trial, the Jury was persuaded to acquit the accused of the charge, despite the fact that there was evidence from an eyewitness that he had committed the crime.
The seriousness of the case meant that a conviction would almost inevitably have resulted in the accused being sent to the High Court of Justiciary for sentence. A sentence here would have resulted in imprisonment for many years.
Different clients – same result
Effective legal representation calls for versatility and breadth of experience. This was proved once again at three separate trials in one day in the Sheriff Court. Clients in all three trials were represented by the same MTM defence lawyer.
Two trials related to domestic assault and the third related a charge of sending offensive text messages under the Communications Act 2003. Winning all three trials in the same day was a huge relief for all of our clients and emphasised the range of circumstances in which we are called upon to defend clients.
Client in serious assault case receives not proven verdict
A Sheriff and Jury case, relating to a very serious assault of ‘glassing’ a person in the eye with a pint beer glass, has ended with a ‘not proven’ verdict against an MTM client. Convictions in such cases would come with a prison sentence resulting in years in jail.
MTM’s representation meant that the Jury was persuaded to find the charge ‘not proven’. Once again, MTM’s expertise has had a direct impact on the course of someone’s life and prospects.Conviction would have led to a quite different life for the client, their family and their future…
One client, two trials and two acquittals – all in one day
An MTM client has been acquitted twice in one day, on charges that would almost certainly have led to a custodial sentence if the person had been convicted.
The charges against the client werea breach of the peace by intimidating and threatening his ex-wife; and breaching a special condition of bail not to approach or contact his ex-wife. With both trials relating to the same alleged victim, a prison sentence would have been the most likely outcome upon any conviction. Our client was all too aware of this and was consequently highly relieved and delighted to be acquitted thanks to expert representation.
Clients cleared of assault charges in two domestic abuse cases
Two MTM clients in domestic abuse cases have been separately cleared of assault and acquitted on the same day. Another highly successful day for the firm, it was also a huge relief to both clients whose lives might have taken a very different and unwelcome course had it not been for effective legal representation.
Trial for assault results in acquittal at Falkirk Sheriff Court
At Falkirk Sheriff Court an accused person and MTM client has been acquitted of a charge of assault to severe injury. The acquittal followed a trial where he was represented by the MTM defence team.
MTM shows evidence to be unreliable as case against client is dropped
Not only does MTM frequently succeed in keeping cases from coming to court, but the firm also has an enviable record in highlighting the unreliability of evidence offered by the prosecution. In a recent case at Falkirk Sheriff Court, arguments put forward by the MTM team in the course of a trial led to the prosecution abandoning a case of serious assault against a client. The evidence of the alleged victim was deemed by the prosecutor to be unreliable and the case was dropped.
Presenting expertise and stopping cases from coming to trial
'Behind the scenes' work at MTM has played a significant role in preventing two Jury-level cases coming to trial. One case involved a charge of Fireraising in a block of flats. MTM investigations uncovered medical evidence, supported by expert psychiatrists, which indicated that the client was not responsible for his actions. In the other case MTM challenged the use of police interview evidence because the police used unfair tactics to obtain a confession. In both cases information uncovered by MTM was instrumental in persuading the Procurator Fiscal to desert the prosecutions.
Client defended against charge of assault on a shopkeeper
A MTM client has been found not guilty at Falkirk Sheriff Court of a charge of assault, in a case involving an alleged assault on a shopkeeper. Such cases are, quite rightly, taken very seriously by courts as shopkeepers are seen as vulnerable due to the nature of their work. Sentences upon conviction in such cases can therefore often be severe.
Client acquitted of charge that would have meant years in prison
An MTM client has been acquitted of a very serious charge at a Sheriff & Jury Trial in Alloa. The allegation was that the client had repeatedly assaulted a person, resulting in a fractured eye socket and damage to an eye. Had the client been convicted of the charge he would have been likely to have received a custodial sentence measured in years.
Expert knowledge wins through in Sheriff & Jury case
MTM has once again successfully challenged the use of confession evidence in Sheriff and Jury case. The charge of serious assault would have led to sentence of several years of imprisonment if the client had been convicted. MTM uncovered the fact that police officers had not used proper procedures in noting the alleged confession, which was disputed by the client. Once again, expert knowledge of the law of evidence and of the legal authorities in this area makes all the difference.
MTM upholds client’s untarnished reputation
A charge of serious domestic breach of the peace in the Justice of the Peace Court has been successfully defended by MTM on behalf of a client. The client, who has no previous convictions, has been able to walk away an innocent man – with his reputation intact and unsullied.
Knowledge brings success
MTM has been successful in having a serious Sheriff & Jury case thrown out of court. The charge was assault by using a knife to injure a person. A defence submission of 'no case to answer' was upheld by the Sheriff, leading to the prosecution being stopped mid-trial. The case was won on a legal technicality concerning the rules of evidence when a crown witness claimed not to be able to remember witnessing the assault. Again, legal knowledge and knowledge of legal procedure have been decisive.
Sheriff court acquittals
Acquittals so far this month in the Sheriff Court include charges of assault, domestic assault, breach of the peace, and sexual offences under the Criminal Law Act 1995.
MTM wins serious domestic assault case
After a four-day Sheriff & Jury trial, an MTM client has been acquitted of a serious charge, which could have had profound implications for the client's future and reputation. The charge, Serious Assault of a domestic nature, resulted in a 'Not Proven' verdict after trial. A 'Not Proven' verdict is often misunderstood by people outwith the legal profession, but has the same meaning as a 'Not Guilty' verdict. The accused person is acquitted of the charge and cannot be tried again for the same offence.
MTM client cleared of assault by driving a car at a person
An MTM client has been acquitted at Falkirk Sheriff Court in a trial for an Assault by driving a car at a person. The client was found Not Guilty after trial.
MTM gets more acquittals – at Sheriff & Jury level
At MTM, we are always focused on getting the right result. Over the past two months we have secured numerous acquittals in Sheriff and Jury trials that have included charges of:
• Breach of the peace
• Assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement
• Possession of offensive weapons
MTM has also successfully challenged confession evidence used by the prosecution that was obtained at a police interview; this prevented the Procurator Fiscal from using the evidence at the Sheriff and Jury trial.
From road traffic to assault charges – MTM gets a result
Recent acquittals in the Sheriff Court include cases with the following charges:
• Assault to injury
• Possession with intent to supply
• Breaching special conditions of bail
Recent wins for MTM clients in the Justice of the Peace Court include:
• Successfully persuading the court not to disqualify a client who was already on 12 penalty points