CPS issues apology after prosecutor accidentally puts forward defence’s case

November 25, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

The Crown Prosecution Service has issued an embarrassing apology after a thug walked free from court when the prosecutor put forward the DEFENCE case by mistake.

CPS issues apology after prosecutor accidentally puts forward defence's case

Reece Kent, 19, punched and kicked Ken Oliver, 62, because he mistakenly thought he was the father of a girl he knew.

Cancer sufferer Ken, who has been given just months to live, was left with horrific injuries on the doorstep of his home.

Kent admitted carrying out the attack and pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm but walked free from court with a six-month suspended sentence.

But at the sentencing hearing prosecutor Geoffrey Porter accidentally read out Kent’s version of events and failed to mention that Ken ended up in intensive care.

It is not known how the mix-up occurred but the local CPS chief has now written to Ken to apologise.

But furious Ken, of Broxbourne, Herts., is now appealing against the sentence and today said the case ”makes a mockery of our justice system”.

He said: ”I am very upset. The CPS has held its hands up and said they are in the wrong, but that won’t change the sentence.

”There is no way that justice has been done here because this guy has got off scot-free while I am left suffering from my injuries.

”He walked out of court laughing because of this CPS mistake. What has happened here makes a mockery of our justice system.

”I think there should be a retrial and I’m complaining and appealing because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

St Albans Crown Court heard that Kent and two friends began banging on Ken’s door at 3.30am on October 23 asking for someone called Molly.

CPS issues apology after prosecutor accidentally puts forward defence's case

When Ken answered the door Kent launched a vicious attack and he was found beaten black and blue by his wife Pauline, 64, and his three-year-old granddaughter.

He suffered a cracked left cheekbone, extensive bruising round his left eye and face and a dislocated toe.

Ken spent a week in intensive care at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, and a CT scan revealed bleeding in the brain and left temple.

The legal protocol at sentencing hearings is for the prosecution to present its version of events before the judge passes sentence.

Recorder Peter Digney told Kent, who faced five years imprisonment, he had avoided jail by ”the slightest margin” and handed him a six-month suspended sentence.

But on November 19 Ken received a letter from Jane Stansfield, senior district crown prosecutor for Hertfordshire, revealing a mistake was made by the prosecutor.

She wrote: ”It is clear that we did not present your case well and for that we owe you our sincere apologies.

”Unfortunately on the day of sentence the prosecutor did not present the case on the basis that we had said we would but mistakenly presented it on the basis the defendant had put forward.

”This was a mistake on the barrister’s part, although the Judge had said it would make no difference to sentence.

”I accept this will be of little consolation to you and I apologise for the distress and anguish this has undoubtedly caused you and your family.

”I am afraid to say that we were not aware that you had spent a week in intensive care with a bleed on the brain.

”I am very sorry that this information was not put before the court. I am very sorry that mistakes were made in this case.

”It will be of little comfort to you personally but we will be taking the matter up with the barrister and the police and make sure that lessons are learned.”

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