R v A (Kingston CC 2020-2021)

Selva Ramasamy QC and Thomas Coke-Smyth succeed in abuse of process submission in the Crown Court.

Selva Ramasamy QC (leading Thomas Coke-Smyth) defended a leading health professional facing allegations of perverting the course of justice and ill treatment by a care worker (s.20 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015).  The defendant treated patients who had suffered serious brain injury. The prosecution alleged that the defendant had made false statements as to the ability of various patients to communicate. The prosecution further alleged that the defendant had falsely reported that one such patient was claiming to have been the victim of a sexual assault. The police went on to investigate this alleged assault. This was a complex investigation involving a number of expert witnesses in the fields of brain injury and speech therapy.  The investigation and proceedings spanned more than 4 years. In that period the defendant suffered serious adverse mental health and was eventually found not fit to plead. Selva and Thomas then mounted an abuse of process argument, submitting that it would be unfair to proceed to a trial of the facts (stage 2 in the fitness to plead process) and that such proceedings would undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system and bring the system into disrepute. This submission was partly based on expert evidence that the proceedings increased the risk to the defendant’s health. The prosecution did not resist this submission, but the Attorney General declined to issue a nolle prosequi. Having heard legal argument, the Crown Court agreed with the submissions made by Selva and Thomas, and the case was stayed as an abuse of process.

Selva and Thomas were instructed by Gary Monks of Hodge Jones & Allen.

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