Nina Ellin KC, leading John FitzGerald, successfully defends a young man charged with the murder of a homeless man in Canterbury
November 21, 2023
Nina Ellin KC, leading John FitzGerald, successfully defends a young man charged with the murder of a homeless man in Canterbury.
Their client was acquitted in less than 6 hours following a six-week trial. He had been charged with others with a joint attack on the homeless man, although careful analysis of the CCTV showed that there was one main attacker (Mr Sibanda) and others who were either trying to help stop the violence or doing nothing other than watching the events unfold. The case involved issues around joint participation, presence and duty to intervene.
Mr Sibanda had accused the deceased of stealing his cocaine from his tent at a sleep-site in a Canterbury car park. He had then become enraged and attacked the deceased multiple times with his fists, a small wooden gavel and a lap top computer which were found at the scene. Despite efforts by some of the defendants to calm him down and move him away, Mr Sibanda had continued over the period of about an hour to go back and assault the deceased. The other men then assisted in looking for the drugs or other items to reimburse Mr Sibanda for his loss, in attempt to calm him down. The Crown sought convictions on the basis that they assisted or encouraged the serious violence which led to death.
Nina Ellin KC and John FitzGerald instructed by Emma Wright and Leah Wilson of Haskells & Co, Kent.