R v AA


AA was charged with murder pursuant to section 18 of the Crimes Act.  The case against AA was that he and four others took part in a beating whereby the victim died.  The Crown relied on the accused having a common purpose with his co-accused to murder or at least seriously injure the victim (cause him grievous bodily harm). As a result of the attack by those present with the accused, the victim died.

AA maintained that he never struck the deceased and the evidence generally established that to be the case. Importantly also in relation to his intent and what he know about what others intended to do,  he  maintained that he did not know that know that other with whom he was with would seriously hurt the deceased.


After a lengthy Supreme Court hearing involving more than 40 witnesses and spanning several weeks, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty to murder. AA was also found not guilty of manslaughter.  AA was released from custody.


“… I feel like my life has been given back to me. Prison routine was killing me. Before the verdict, I was numb – all the time up to the trial, every day with court, I tried to prepare my self for the worse case, but i couldn’t…. I am so glad I got you to do the trial. Everything went perfectly, those talks we had in the cells each morning, I knew what to expect and our strategy… Pete, it was like magic! Your expertise set me free.” [From lengthy letter written by AA after the acquittal]


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