Another Acquittal Secured by Nelson Guest and Partners
A privately paying Nelson Guest client charged with an offence of Theft has been acquitted in a case at The City of London.
The defendant who had built a successful career at a well-known Railway company was alleged to have stolen an item from a passenger’s luggage in a bizarre sequence of events. The defendant maintained that he had not done this and as a man of good character he would not ever contemplate stealing items. In the matter, which was managed by Nelson Guest’s Alfie Cranmer, there were a number of enquiries that were made after the defendant explained that he had come into the possession of the property owing to a work protocol.
Extensive research and the taking of witness statements from those higher up at the company revealed that in fact the defendant’s account was entirely in accordance with the firm’s protocols and what was later evidenced on CCTV would have been what was expected of him. The issue was therefore whether the item could have been stolen whilst the defendant was not the custodian of the case and in any event had only been for a very short period.
It became apparent after extensive cross examination that the complainant had left her belongings on the train when she was in a rush to catch the next one. The case had been left alone for around seven minutes in total of which for a very short period the defendant had taken custody of the item. The complainant had also been on 2 trains, a bus and a tube that day and it was apparent that the item could well have been stolen by anyone at any stage on her journey.
They referred at various times to the protocols which they heard applied. There had been no evidence presented that the defendant had stolen the property and as a result of that the defendant was acquitted with the bench of magistrates referring to the fact that the defendant was a very credible witness and they believed that the complainant had the misfortune of having the item stolen by someone else at the stages when she was on Public transport and had left the case alone or for instance when she had been on the tube.
The value of nuance in cases is extremely important given that without any evidence with regard to the protocol one may have questioned why the defendant was the custodian of it for the short period that he had it. That could have convicted someone who was ultimately not guilty.
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