Emin Kandola secures acquittals after trial of 14 year old charged with stabbing family friend

December 5, 2022

6 Pump Court

D, a 14 year old, was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (section 18) and unlawful wounding (section 20) in the alternative.

The circumstances were that whilst his mother was away, D stayed with his mother’s best friend, K, and her family including her boyfriend, J. One day the family all went to the pub, and K and J started arguing over K getting a drinks order incorrect. He left the pub and went home in a complete drunken rage and started damaging the property. At this point the whole family had returned and were trying to stop J. His behaviour only got worse and he became verbally and physically abusive towards K. J’s behaviour continued for some time, before escalating outside the property where he smashed a window. Whilst outside, J assaulted K by pushing her into a fence, causing her to hit her head on a concrete panel. This all took place in the presence of D, who, according to the prosecution then involved himself by stabbing J in the back once, causing a life threatening injury. It was alleged by the prosecution at trial that D stabbed J with intent to cause really serious harm.

The defence case was that D acted in defence of K. He stated that he had also seen J assault K by grabbing her throat, and he thought she was going to die. It was successfully argued that the incident triggered D’s childhood PTSD; D had witnessed his mother suffer domestic abuse. Expert psychiatric evidence was called to deal with the effect of PTSD on self-defence and intent to cause harm to another.

The trial lasted five days before a District Judge and on the sixth day, D was found not guilty of both charges.

Emin Kandola represented D, and was instructed by Samuel Sotunde of Takk and Co Solicitors.