Kerim Fuad QC, Head of Church Court Chambers, and Colin Witcher were instructed on behalf of the defendant in an unusual case where the victim was stabbed repeatedly following a heated exchange over a trivial parking matter. The allegation was that the defendant, having had a fight with the victim on his doorstep, retreated to his house and retrieved a kitchen knife. After a few moments he was then captured on CCTV running through the cul-de-sac where both parties lived. Whilst the victim was sat in his car, unarmed, trapped by his seatbelt and sitting next to his partner, the defendant stabbed repeatedly through the open window, causing “devastating and life changing injuries.”
The case was unusual in that the defendant’s evidence was that he simply could not remember what had happened – one moment he was at his front door with the victim, the next he was standing with a knife with people screaming at him that he had stabbed someone. The Crown argued that there was a clear intent to kill in that the defendant had said, as he went to get the kitchen knife; “Just watch what is going to happen next.” He then plunged the knife repeatedly into the victim and had told officers soon afterwards that he “had seen red mist”. He also made other unhelpful remarks noted by police officers. By good fortune and the commendable work of paramedics the victim survived, albeit being in a coma and sustaining life changing injuries. He spent many months in hospital. The added complexity to the case was that the defendant’s previous firm of solicitors withdrew having unusually breached legal privilege. As such the entire former legal team withdrew only a few days before the trial was scheduled to commence. The Learned Judge, HHJ Dodgson recognised that this unusual case deserved the attention of Queen’s Counsel – Kerim Fuad QC and Colin Witcher were instructed. The trial had in the first instance to be adjourned in October 2016 and the jury discharged, Counsel rightly not being satisfied that the case had been fully prepared by the original legal team and that critical matters of disclosure remained outstanding. The trial then took place this week and after a five day trial the jury took only an hour and a half to unanimously find the defendant “not guilty” of Attempted Murder.
Kerim Fuad QC took the decision to make a robust and persuasive opening speech which helped quell much of the fire of prosecution counsel’s speech.
The defendant had earlier pleaded guilty to section 18.
Counsel were instructed by Karmenah Vaziraney, Partner at Edwards Vaziraney