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Our client, a young mother, was charged with Assault by Beating following an incident that occurred outside Sainsbury's in Shepherds Bush.

Over the past two years, our team of serious and violent crime defence solicitors has represented and advised 413 clients charged with assault by beating. Of these, 278 clients have been represented this year alone.

After leaving a hair appointment, our client walked to the ATM outside Sainsbury’s and took out £100. Our client left the ATM without taking the cash, an absent-minded mistake, and began to walk away.

In the meantime, another woman – the complainant – approached the ATM.

Upon realising that she had forgotten to retrieve the cash from the bank machine, our client returned to the ATM and saw the woman holding a bundle of cash. Our client suspected that this woman had taken her cash.

To resolve the situation in a peaceful and safe manner, our client politely explained to her what had happened. She invited the woman to enter the Sainsbury’s shop with her where they could both review the CCTV footage.

The woman whom our client suspected refused to go with our client and resisted this idea, ultimately trying to get away.

In order to ensure that her cash was not being stolen, our client held the woman at the cash machine. Our client was then assaulted by the woman she suspected of taking her cash. A fight ensued, with blows being delivered by both sides. Both parties involved sustained injuries in the incident.

A member of the public assisted in separating the two and stopped the fight, but as the complainant continued to deny taking the money, the police were called. Our client was arrested because of the police viewing the CCTV footage and noting that our client had approached the woman first.

Our client instructed our team of expert criminal defence solicitors on the events that occurred in this incident. She maintained that she had withdrawn money from her account and had absentmindedly forgotten her money at the cash machine.

To prove our client’s version of events, our team requested for the CCTV evidence of the incident be released which supported our client’s version of events.

Our team determined through review of the custody record, that the police had not counted our client’s money and made a note of it. If they had, they would have seen that while money was taken out of our client’s account, she did not have any cash on her.

Also, our solicitors determined that the police failed to count the complainant’s money to determine whether she only had as much as she claimed. Moreover, while our client had stated at the police station that she had showed a nurse the injuries she sustained, but this was not included in the custody record.

Our dedicated solicitor sourced expert counsel to represent our client at trial at Westminster Magistrates Court. The counsel argued that the initial “assault” by our client against the complainant was lawful under Section 3 of the Theft Act 1968 (“to prevent theft of her property”).

Counsel also argued that the secondary “assault” was an act of self-defence, a statutory defence, as the complainant had begun to repeatedly kick our client during the incident. Do you want to know more about the UK’s self-defence laws? Read our article.

After an almost three-hour trial, the bench made the ruling decision of finding our client Not Guilty as self-defence was proven by the submissions provided by counsel.

It was found at trial, thanks to the CCTV evidence provided by the defence, that our client acted with reasonable force, and she was acquitted at trial.

Have you been accused of assault by beating? It is imperative that you equip yourself with an expert criminal defence solicitor to ensure you do not go down for an offence you did not commit. Contact our team of expert serious and violent defence solicitors. We help our clients navigate the maze of the justice system with our countless years of experience. Contact us for a no-fee consultation today.


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