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Life in crime | Reckless charges ruin lives

Following a number of high-profile acquittals, Ben Newton asks why they ever have made it to court in the first place

22 August 2012

I was reading the judgment in John Terry’s case recently and, for those who ?have only seen the media coverage, District Judge Riddle’s 15-page judgment ?makes compelling reading. Of course the point that the chief magistrate was ?at pains to make, while meticulously explaining why John Terry was not guilty, was that the case had been properly brought. What, however, of the cases that never should have been?

Paul Chambers and Simon Walsh have, like John Terry, had more than their fair share of media coverage (thank you for reading one more article!), but there’s one unifying feature that will frustrate defence lawyers in particular. We all see cases when someone on the prosecution side needs to make the decision to throw the file in the bin but nobody takes the responsibility.

In Simon Walsh’s case, it has been reported that the police had originally been convinced that he was p...

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