Christopher Bevan of counsel was instructed by Rory Todd of the Public Defender Service to represent Private X in a two-day trial at the Court Martial in November, who was accused of sexual assault on a female in a nightclub.
The Service Prosecution Authority on behalf of the Crown argued that the sexual assault was obvious as shown in the CTTV and in the complainant’s reaction when Mr X made contact with the complainant with his baseball cap from behind as he passed her.
On behalf of the defendant, Mr Bevan argued that the touching was accidental, and the contact occurred as he tried to pass between her and some other club goers. Mr Bevan argued that the defendant could be seen with his phone in his left hand and his baseball cap in his right hand and had clearly not looked at her until the moment he made contact, further arguing that this was not a person poised to commit a sexual assault. The Crowns evidence implied that the defendant was then seen leaving the club within minutes, and that he did this to ‘escape’. Mr Bevan was able to demonstrate that the defendant left the club to try and contact his wife using his phone, and re-entered the club minutes later, passing several police officers on his way back in.
The panel (jury) was comprised of several military officers and rankings, who returned a not guilty verdict after roughly 40 minutes.