Jon Gregg, instructed by Richard Kirby of Messrs. Robertsons, York, recently defended Charles Young on an allegation of causing G.B.H. with intent by stamping on a complainant’s face and head.
Jon Gregg, instructed by Richard Kirby of Messrs. Robertsons, York, recently defended Charles Young on an allegation of causing G.B.H. with intent by stamping on a complainant’s face and head. The Defendant, and two other family members, were alleged to have attacked a guest at a family birthday celebration in a local hotel.
The trial ran for six days at York Crown Court, and resulted in Mr. Young’s acquittal within 20 minutes of the jury’s retirement. The prosecution evidence came from the complainant, guests at the party and hotel staff. The issue for the jury was not whether the complainant had been badly injured, he undoubtedly had, but one of identification. Following cross-examination of the witnesses, the jury were clearly not sure that Mr. Young was one of those responsible for causing the injuries.
When Jon first began his career in criminal law in the early 1990’s, it seemed that such cases were ten-a-penny, and formed substantial part of his practice. Their frequency has declined markedly over the years. Often there is pressure exerted upon Defendants to offer a plea to a public order offence, or a less serious level of assault, in an attempt to compromise the case, thereby saving time and money. The use of “out of court disposals” (often, it seems, in highly inappropriate circumstances) further reduces the work of the criminal courts. Happily for Mr. Young, a man of impeccable character, the jury trial process was true to its purpose. Not in his case “convicting the guilty”, but rather “acquitting the innocent”.