Paul Dillon from our London office, was instructed as a member of a private client team to advise and attend Polar Park police station at Heathrow for an interview under caution in relation to an allegation of sexual assault.
The interview itself was by way of the client attending with Paul on a voluntary basis, which had been pre-arranged with the officer in the case. The basic facts of the case involved an allegation that during a flight, our client had fallen asleep and leaned into another passenger, at which point he was alleged to have kissed and caressed her.
In speaking with our client, it was clear that there was a relevant medical condition, whereby it was documented that he had a preexisting sleep disorder and was unaware of his actions.
Our client was a senior executive and professional of a global marketing company, so zero publicity of this investigation and case was absolutely essential due to his employment situation.
By way of pre-charge engagement, we instructed a leading expert to assist with representations to the police to consider their decision to prosecute. Initially, it appeared that our representations were successful. Unfortunately, the complainant appealed the decision made by the Metropolitan Police not to prosecute, and upon a review, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to do so.
The matter commenced in the Uxbridge Magistrates Court, and the client was advised to elect a Crown Court trial as was his right.
As part of the case preparation and a proactive approach, we kept the pressure on the CPS by serving an amended expert report and the matter was formally discontinued before the client even had to attend personally at Isleworth Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing, thereby avoiding any possibility of publicity a crucial consideration for the client.
We were then in a position to make an application to the Isleworth Crown Court for our client’s reasonable costs about a number of aspects of the case, including instruction of the expert, attendance at the police station interview and the proceedings in the Magistrates Court.