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Client found Not Guilty of Murder at Old Bailey trial

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Our client was unanimously acquitted of a Murder charge by a jury at the Old Bailey. He had been charged with a number of others on the basis of joint enterprise.

What is  Joint Enterprise?

In the UK the criminal law generally only holds offenders liable for their own actions but under the doctrine of joint enterprise a person may in some circumstances be found guilty for another person’s actions and criminal act.

Mere  association or accidental presence during a crime is insufficient for a charge under joint enterprise. A suspect must knowingly assist or encourage the crime and agree to act together with the primary offender for a common purpose. For example, the driver of a getaway vehicle can be charged with robbery under joint enterprise even if an accomplice actually perpetrated the crime.

If one group member is not party to the plan, not  in agreement with it or withdraws from a plan then joint enterprise doctrine may not be apply.  For example if a group agrees to damage property but one group member assaults and batters a passer-by without knowledge or assent of other members then  doctrine of joint enterprise is unlikely to be applicable.

Defending Charges of Joint Enterprise

When defending a charge of joint enterprise, it is best to appoint expert criminal defence solicitors with specialist  experience defending against a change based on joint enterprise due to the complexities of the issues that can be involved.