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R v K - successful acquittal in firearms case (23 May 2019)

Date: 23/05/2019
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, R v K - successful acquittal in firearms case

Criminal defence solicitors Kerim Kumbarji and Daniel Dilein successfully represented their client ‘K’ who was charged with three key firearm offences; possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Understanding the importance of providing strong client care from the onset, Kerim represented the client on the Friday evening at the police station and attended court the next day following charge. Client was remanded and spent just under seven months on remand prior to his release.

The case emerged that client ‘K’ was the driver of a vehicle containing a loaded Makarov firearm found within a hollow void under the middle console of his car. His finger prints along with those of his co-accused (a passenger in the vehicle) were found on the underside of the middle console- a place the prosecution said was ‘odd’ and ‘unusual’. The prosecution played a voice recording of K telling his co-defendant “they are on us” to a minicab office three minutes before his arrest. The prosecution say this was a reference to undercover police.

K had a fourth charge of insurance fraud. The prosecution sought to adduce this as bad character to claim that K had created a misleading impression of good character.

The defence submitted case law in order to ensure that the client’s bad character was excluded. This included R. v. Smith [1989] Crim.L.R. 900, CA which highlights that questions regarding a pending charge are improper. This was further distinguished in R - v- Rafiq and discussed in Archbold 13-72a where it was said that evidence might be adduced where the particular circumstances of that offence were relevant to the matter with which the defendant is being charged.

Ultimately, the team pointed out that it was impossible to determine whether or not K was guilty of the alleged insurance fraud during that particular trial and that if evidence is adduced that it is pending then the client;

  • Cannot be questioned about it

  • Cannot properly respond to the allegation unless he chooses to or is in effect forced to do so.

The judge agreed and the prosecution’s proposed bad character application was refused.

Kerim ensured that an urgent witness statement was drafted. He also revealed that mistakes were made by the police officers involved in the case after it was erroneously claimed that a special warning was given at the interview stage. Since Kerim was present at the interview stage he was able to alert counsel of this mistake by the officer and correct the officer in court.

Following the instruction of a forensic scientist, the legal arguments made by the team, and robust attempts to obtain main witnesses, counsel convinced the jury that following these mistakes made by officers, there was a strong possibility that the prosecution was mistaken regarding the client’s possession of a firearm.

Kerim commented on the success of the case;

“Client care and knowledge of the law and procedure was paramount in this instance to ensure client was acquitted.”

Criminal defence solicitor Kerim Kumbarji represented the client in this matter alongside criminal defence duty solicitor Daniel Dilein, they instructed Bartholomew O'Toole of 5 Kings Bench Walk.

Kerim handles a range of criminal defence matters for both privately and publicly funded clients across London, including serious allegations such as murder, large scale drug offences, fraud and sexual violence. As an accredited police station representative he can assist clients at the initial police station stage at any time.

Duty solicitor Daniel Delein has extensive experience in criminal cases both as an advocate and a litigator. He regularly handles cases involving a variety of serious, violent offences, the importation of controlled drugs, conspiracy to supply drugs, the possession of firearms, fraud, robbery, and burglary.

Contact Kerim on 020 7923 8428 or at kerimk@duncanlewis.com

Contact Daniel on 020 7275 2759 or at daniela@duncanlewis.com

Duncan Lewis Crime Solicitors

Duncan Lewis has a significant practice defending clients in serious and complex criminal cases, including gun and knife crime. We continue to deal with full range of criminal offences from police station representation up to Crown Court trials, appeals and judicial review.

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