Kangs Solicitors have successfully assisted a client charged with assisting an escaped prisoner contrary to section 22 (2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1961.
Frances Murray of Kangs Solicitors comments on the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
- Our client, parent and primary carer of a severely autistic son, was charged with assisting an escaped prisoner contrary to section 22 (2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1961.
- The Prosecution alleged that our client assisted a prisoner who had absconded from Ford Open Prison in June 2017, where he was serving a life sentence for murder.
- Our client had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.
- Having considered the papers upon which the Prosecution relied and considering the accusation in great detail with our client, it was envisaged that, at an appropriate time, a submission of ‘no case to answer’ would be made to the court.
- We instructed Mathew Sherratt QC of Carmelite Chambers as the defence advocate on our client’s behalf.
The Appropriate Law | Kangs Criminal Law Advisory Solicitors
Section 22 (2) Criminal Justice Act 1961 provides that if any person knowingly harbours a person who has escaped from a prison or other institution, or who, having been sentenced in any part of the United Kingdom or in any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man to imprisonment or detention, is otherwise unlawfully at large, or gives to any such person any assistance with intent to prevent, hinder or interfere with his being taken into custody, he shall be liable:
- On summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or both;
- On conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, a fine or both.
Submission of ‘No Case to Answer’ | Kangs Magistrates’ Court Trial Team
The case of R v Galbraith sets out the test for the court to consider when hearing an application of ‘no case to answer’ and provides that a submission should be allowed when there is no evidence that a crime has been committed by the defendant.
Where the evidence is tenuous or inconsistent, the court has to consider whether, when taken at its highest, it is such that a jury could not properly convict.
If the answer is ‘yes’, then the case should be dismissed.
The Hearing | Kangs Criminal Law Solicitors
Following the presentation of the Prosecution’s case to the court, we submitted that there was ‘no case to answer’ on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence for a court to convict because the Prosecution had failed to prove the ‘escaped’ prisoner was, in fact, unlawfully at large.
Following their deliberation, the Magistrates agreed, the case was dismissed and our client left the court a free person.
How Can We Help You? | Kangs Serious Crime Solicitors
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
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