Edwards Duthie were again successful in obtaining a Costs Award against the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of two clients involved in criminal proceedings. Both were acquitted of serious offences of dishonesty. They were not eligible for legal aid and had to meet the costs of their defence from their own resources. This can be a difficult position for an accused person, when they find themselves pitted against the resources of the State whose resources are infinitely greater.
In these circumstances it is all the more necessary for solicitors to be vigilant concerning unreasonable or negligent conduct by the Prosecution Authorities. Where this can be established, the Court has jurisdiction to compensate an accused person by ordering the Prosecution to reimburse them for costs which have been incurred “as a result of an unnecessary or improper act or omission” by the Prosecution. This can sometimes be difficult to achieve in the face of excuses often advanced by the Prosecution who respond that they are only doing their best in the interest of justice.
In this instance, Edwards Duthie were able to satisfy the Court that this was not the case. In addition to being acquitted, which is of course of the utmost importance, both our clients were also able to achieve recompense in respect of their legal costs. The Judge has ordered the CPS to pay their costs.
This case was dealt with at Edwards Duthie by Shaun Murphy, who was acting as both the litigator and the advocate in these proceedings.