Robert Connor was convicted and sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for attempted murder with a concurrent sentenced of five years for possession of a firearm. In summary, Mr Connor had been involved in a longstanding feud with the victim and along with some associates went to his house and shot him. The victim sustained no significant injury and Mr Connor claimed that he had removed some of the propellant from the ammunition; he had no intent to kill. He was however convicted by jury.
S&O Partnership took over the case and instructed a forensic firearms expert to analyse the gun and ammunition. As a result of the report which was classed as ‘new evidence’, the Court of Appeal felt that this evidence should have been before the jury in the trial and that the conviction was ‘unsafe’. The murder conviction was quashed and a retrial was ordered.
On the day of the retrial, as a result of the forensic firearms evidence, the Crown decided not to proceed with the attempted murder count; accepting a guilty plea on the basis that he had altered the ammunition in order to cause serious injury amounting to grievous bodily harm. Mr Connor was sentenced to six years for the GBH to run consecutive to the minimum mandatory five years for possession of the firearm.
This was an excellent result for the client and required a proactive and forensic examination of the trial process. Counsel Alastair Smith Foundry conducted the appeal and David Hughes 9 Bedford Row for the retrial.