Peter Doyle QC secures acquittal in murder trial
Peter Doyle QC ( leading Michael Cogan instructed by Sharma Law) secures acquittal of murder at Sheffield Crown Court.
The defendant (19) and his brother (17) drove onto a caravan site to take scrap. They were confronted and the brother having been assaulted ran away. The defendant began to drive away but he struck the female deceased who had been standing directly in front of his vehicle. He dragged her under his vehicle for some meters before driving over her completely. She suffered horrific injuries and died at the scene.
He picked up his brother nearby and speeded away before abandoning the vehicle 11 miles away in a field. He had no license to drive and the vehicle was mechanically unsound.
Although denied by witnesses, the defence case was that the brothers had been attacked at the scene and were trying to escape further violence and in his panic the defendant had been unaware that he had hit anyone. The defendant accepted that his driving was unlawful (recklessness) and dangerous but the prosecution rejected his plea to manslaughter. Their case was that no violence had occurred at the scene. Following a trial over several days including prosecution expert reconstruction evidence, the jury acquitted of murder in 72 minutes. The defendant was sentenced to 7 years for manslaughter.