A jury at the Old Bailey rejected the Crown’s allegation that the defendant was in possession of a firearm, following a theft at a Tesco Express. Two complainants both claimed that the defendant pointed a handgun at them and threatened to shoot as they tried to stop his escape. The defendant accepted stealing a small quantity of items but denied he had ever produced a firearm.
The trial turned on cross-examination as to the reliability of the witnesses and whether they had exaggerated. Counsel secured substantial disclosure shortly prior to trial that revealed that the witnesses had made errors during the identification process and had behaved inconsistently, waiting nearly 40 minutes before calling police to make their allegations. It was also calculated that the items allegedly stolen included nearly three stones’ worth of Kitkats.
The jury acquitted the defendant in under half an hour.