Not guilty verdict on gross negligence manslaughter charge

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Nick Titchener

Managing Partner


In a unique prosecution of a client for gross negligence manslaughter, Lawtons Solicitors secured an acquittal following a successful submission of no case to answer at the conclusion of the Prosecution case.

The charge related to an unlicensed clinic providing treatment to those with heroin addiction problems and the use of an African Root drug called Ibogaine (which is not a licensed drug in this country).

The deceased had booked a treatment at the unregistered clinic being run by the client and unbeknown to him also consumed heroin while at the treatment centre. The combination of the two drugs proved fatal. It was this issue of causation that was the key issue for Trial.

The case involved the extensive use of expert evidence in the fields of Toxicology and Pharmacology, with Lawtons Solicitors instructing the recognised world expert in Ibogaine. The evidence from this expert was by means of a secure video-link set up to enable the expert to give evidence from the University of Miami.

The client had earlier pleaded guilty to charges relating to failing to register as a service provider, supplying unauthorised medicinal products and two counts of fraud.

Max Hill KC was Lead Counsel instructed by Stephen Halloran of Lawtons Solicitors, assisted by Kevin Molloy of Church Court Chambers.

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