When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Grievous bodily harm trial of Appleby man collapses
12:39pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
THE trial of an Appleby man collapsed due to failings by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Peter John Elliott, 46, of Pinewood House, Heights, stood charged with grievous bodily harm following an incident in the town in September 2011.
Ordering a stay of indictment due to abuse of process, Judge Barbara Forrester told Carlisle Crown Court that Mr Elliott had argued from the start that he had been the victim rather than the attacker in a disturbance which left local man, Stuart Challoner with a broken leg. She said she believed Mr Elliott could not now have a fair trial.
The court heard how Mr Elliott had sought video evidence from two pubs, The Hare and Hounds and the Tufton Arms. It was the Crown’s case that Mr Elliot had approached or entered the Tufton Arms before running back and kicking Mr Challoner. When the police asked about the CCTV system they were told it did not work. When Mr Elliott made his own inquiries he found it did work and that it showed he did not approach the door that night.
The police were also told the CCTV system in the Hare and Hounds did not work. Mr Elliott proved that it did work but it was then of no use because by that time the tape had been recorded over.
Judge Forrester said she was also very concerned that there was said to be no trace of a 999 call Mr Elliott said he made at the time of the incident. It was only on the second day of the trial that the call was proved to have been made and a transcript produced in court.
Summing up Judge Forreter said there had been a systematic failure by Cumbria Constabulary to investigate the incident properly in that they had relied on information that fitted their perceived version of events, rather than investigate the allegations made by Mr Elliott. There had also been a serious fault in the CPS’s prosecution of the offence.