Not Guilty – Student threatened with a knife

A University Student from Hong Kong, who punched a man after being threatened with a knife, has been found Not Guilty following a trial at Nottingham Magistrates Court.

Our client, represented by Miss Hetal Patel (Criminal Defence Department, Nottingham) stood trial for an offence of threatening behaviour. A conviction would not only have risked a prison sentence but severely damaged this young man’s hopes of eventually setting up a business in America.

Our client was with friends at a Chinese restaurant in Nottingham. As they left the restaurant, a male approached his group and made requests for cash. After these requests were refused, the male became aggressive and punched three members of our client’s group; one male and two females. In an effort to protect himself and his group, our Client chased this male away but the male soon returned.

Matters then took a serious turn and our client said that the male was handed a knife by another unknown male at the scene. The male approached our client and our client reacted by punching and kicking him a number of times, causing the male to run away from the scene. The Prosecution would not accept our client’s evidence that the other male had a knife.
Thankfully, most of the incident was caught on CCTV but it all happened so quickly that, on the face of it, it could have been interpreted that our client was simply acting as aggressively as the other male. At first glance, the male could not be seen with a knife or any item when he approached our client the final time.

Hetal however spent a great amount of time carefully examining the CCTV and was eventually able to spot the points where the other male was handed and approached out client with a shiny object that looked very much like a knife. As a result of this hard work and expertise, Hetal was able to take the Magistrates through the CCTV carefully during the trial. This, along with the evidence from our client and other witnesses resulted in the Magistrates returning a verdict of Not Guilty against our client.
The other male, represented by other solicitors, was convicted of his part in the offence.

This case is a prime example of a situation that is not as clear as it first appears. Had it not been for the careful preparation by Hetal and other caseworkers at Bhatia Best, the key parts to our client’s self-defence argument could have been missed. Yet, because our client instructed Bhatia Best and could rely on our experienced and reliable representation, justice was done.

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