Nick Cassidy Recently Secured An Acquittal In The Case Of R v J

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In summary, J faced an allegation of dangerous driving. The prosecution alleged that an offender had driven a car dangerously for a lengthy period and required a number of police vehicles to give chase. J was arrested in the vicinity and later identified as being the offender by police officers. Officers relied on CCTV footage recording the alleged incident, descriptions and comparison of clothing seized and ultimately their own dealings with J at the time of arrest to make a positive identification of J as the offender.


It was argued successfully on behalf of J at trial, that the police officers had not complied with the guidelines set for identification procedures in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Representations were subsequently made under Section 78 of PACE 1984, that the trial judge should not admit the identification evidence at trial. The case of R v Forbes [2001] 1 AC 473, HL and R v Quinn [1995] 1 Cr App R 480, CA (police should have followed statutory guidelines) were also relied upon. The case was subsequently discontinued during the trial.


Identification is a contentious issue in many cases tried before the Courts. Nick Cassidy explains “identification is not straight forward. How often have you seen a friend or family member in a shop or driving past, before realising you had made a mistake? How often have you said ‘I could of swore I saw you?’ Cases that depend purely on the correct identification of an offender in the absence of any corroborating evidence,  are dealt with cautiously by the courts and rightly so. A mistaken witness is often a convincing witness and the guidelines are set for good reason.”


If you have any criminal matter or regulatory matter contact Nick Cassidy on or another member of the Criminal Department on 01282 433 241.