David Walbank QC and Cyrus Shroff were instructed by Seth Collins of Paul Robinson Solicitors in the defence of a man accused of using his car as a weapon and murdering another road user, following a minor collision.
Following the road traffic incident, which occurred mid-morning on 20 January 2020 on the westbound carriageway of the North Circular Road near Henley’s Corner, there was an altercation on the carriageway, in the course of which RB was alleged to have punched in the face a much older gentleman, who was the passenger in the other vehicle. RB then returned to the driver’s seat of his own 4×4, drove it forward, knocked down the female driver of the other car, drove over her on the ground with his front and rear wheels and left her with catastrophic injuries, which ultimately proved to be fatal. Having driven away from the scene, RB was eventually stopped by the police in Islington, where he was arrested and subsequently charged with murder and assault.
At the trial, which took place at the Central Criminal Court before His Honour Judge Nigel Lickley QC and a jury, the main evidence against RB was the front facing footage from his own dashboard camera. There was no dispute that he had knocked down the victim and driven over her and that that caused her death. The question for the jury was, in relation to murder, whether it was done deliberately and with intent to cause her death or really serious injury, and on the alternative verdict of manslaughter, whether RB had acted intentionally and in order to do her at least some harm or whether this might have been a tragic accident. RB also denied assault, saying that he had acted in self-defence.
The jury were urged, in David’s closing address, not to approach the case on the basis that “someone must pay” but were invited, in the event they returned Not Guilty verdicts, to view that outcome as representing not a failure but a vindication of the system of jury trial. Earlier today, Monday 19 July 2021, the jury returned unanimous verdicts of Not Guilty of murder, manslaughter and assault.