Not Guilty verdict in stalking, harassment and firearms case.
Our client faced stalking, harassment and firearms charges at Wood Green Crown Court of:
STALKING INVOLVING FEAR OF VIOLENCE, contrary to section 4(A) (1) of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and POSSESSING A FIREARM, WITH INTENT TO CAUSE FEAR OF VIOLENCE contrary to section 16A of the Firearms Act 1968.
The prosecution case
The case concerned an allegation that the defendant engaged in a course of alleged obsessive behaviour. The claim was that he became fixated on a young woman who he only vaguely knew. It was claimed that the lady had never given our client any reason to believe that they could ever be more than “just friends”.
The crown claimed that after the lady declined to take the relationship further our client started harassing and stalking her, behaviour which the crown said culminated in as campaign of intimidation. This included sending pictures including a gun and wedding ring as well as a video showing a samurai sword and bullets. The defendant was also spotted near the lady’s address.
The defence case
On arrest the defendant was interviewed whilst represented by other solicitors. He was charged and remanded in custody. Legal Aid was transferred to Moss & Co early in the proceedings.
At the first hearing we explained the nature of the offences faced. The defendant was concerned whether the court would be willing to listen to his side of the story and had even considered pleading guilty. A trial date was set.
The defendants account was entirely different to that of the complainant. He said that he had been in a full relationship with her that she had kept secret because of concerns over religious differences. He believed that the lady had conceived a child with him and that all he wanted was to find out if the child was his.
Moss & Co took full instructions and obtained an order from the court for service of full downloads of all telephone evidence. This was relevant because our client said that there were messages on the phones which proved his account and further that a hotel had been booked by the defendant so that they could meet. Our clients account was correct, there was evidence of a continuing relationship and in this context the messaging did not seem so threatening. Our client described the messages as pranks designed to soften her heart.
The trial took place and after 10 long days our client was acquitted.
Note: It is often the case in stalking cases that there really is two entirely different sides to the story. It is the defence solicitors task to ensure that the defence account is fully in investigated, evidenced and presented to the court in a robust and clear way.