Undercover Officer Case Dismissed at Cambridge Crown Court

27th October 2023 | Lawtons News|
Nick Titchener headshot

Nick Titchener

Managing Partner

police interview

In July 2020, our client faced a grave accusation – intentionally encouraging or facilitating sexual communication with a child. During his initial arrest and police interview, our client was represented by the duty solicitor, organised by the police.

However, when the Crown Prosecution Service decided to charge and prosecute him for these serious offences, our client needed to find a legal firm with specialised expertise in defending individuals accused of sexual offences, particularly those involving children. 

It was in November 2021, just prior to his first court appearance, that he contacted the Managing Partner at our London office, Nick Titchener, and formally instructed him to represent his case on a private client basis.

Nick Titchener promptly applied for the evidence held by the CPS and appeared at Cambridge Magistrates Court for our client’s initial hearing. During this crucial stage, Nick swiftly raised substantial concerns regarding the investigation’s methodology and the acquisition of evidence. It was evident from the outset that this was a case that demanded scrutiny and a comprehensive review of all available evidence.

The case revolved around chat messages and recorded conversations that our client had engaged in with a female undercover police officer (UCO). As our legal team delved into the evidence, especially the recorded conversations, Nick found that the officer had overstepped ethical boundaries, effectively baiting and entrapping our client. 

Through a meticulous examination of the evidence and collaboration with a Professor in Psychology specialising in the behavioural patterns of sexual offenders, we were able to establish that there was no basis to conclude that our client harboured a sexual interest in children. In fact, it became clear that, but for the officer’s conduct, our client would not have engaged in the alleged behaviour.

Further backing our defence, we called upon the expertise of specialist Counsel, Kevin Molloy from Church Court Chambers, who made complex and detailed legal submissions, contending that allowing the case to proceed would constitute an affront to justice.

In September 2023, the Crown Court criticised the conduct of the police and the UCO in particular. As a result, the court formally brought the case to an end on the grounds that allowing it to continue would constitute an Abuse of Process.

This case underscores the paramount importance of retaining experts who possess an in-depth understanding of how to prepare and defend complex and challenging cases. The successful outcome serves as a testament to our commitment to providing diligent and effective legal representation in the most demanding circumstances. If you require legal assistance or representation in a complex case, particularly one involving sexual offences, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts.

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