Man cleared of murdering teenager in knife attack

S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
#1
I've just heard of this case, and the verdict seems a bit dodgy:

Haslingden man cleared of murdering teenager in knife attack (From Lancashire Telegraph)

"A MAN has been cleared of murdering a teenager in a frenzied knife attack.

Declan Eastwood died after being stabbed up to 12 times by Sean Fell.

But Mr Fell had always maintained he only attacked the 17-year-old in ‘self-defence’.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old, of George Street, Haslingden was found not guilty of murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter.

As the foreman of the jury announced the not guilty verdict, gasps could be heard from the public gallery and members of Mr Eastwood’s family ran out of court in tears."


So how do you stab someone 12 times in self defence? And secondly, how do you kill someone, and avoid the sentence of manslaughter? Seems a strange decision by the jury, will this be the end of the matter, or do the victim's family have other avenues?
 
#2
So the guy got punched in the face, ran away, came back, got a knife, and stabbed the other guy, 12 times.... in self defence?

What a load of shit.
 
#3
A previous jury in the case were discharged too. Most odd.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#4
Eh? The way I understand it, if you grab something when you are getting battered and you use it there is a fair chance to claim self defence. But if you walk off, grab something then return, that is premeditation and self defence goes out the window. A very strange verdict - even the accused's family said they thought he was going down.
 
#5
In my considered opinion (that is a theory I pulled out of my rear end), the guy (who is said to be "a bit slow") has been setup and taken back to the house for kangaroo court/romper room in relation to the wallet.

Went a bit too far and 'mong rage' ensued. If you've ever seen it, you'll know how messy it is.
 
#7
Masonic connections?


If you want to research "dodgy" verdicts have a lengthy trawl through the Old Baily records: Old Bailey Online - The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 - Central Criminal Court

It's easy to see that where ocupation is given as "Gentleman" it's most likely a Not Guilty verdict. If the accused is some sort of peasant, then it's most likely guilty. I read one such case where a "gentleman" chatrged with manslaughter actualy said, "...and so I ran him through with my sword!", verdict - not guilty.
 
#9
So how do you stab someone 12 times in self defence?
In a similar manner to how one shoots oneself through the head multiple times when on guard?
 
S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
#10
Also goes on to say that of the 12 wounds, 4 were fatal, and would have been sufficient on their own! Hmmm....
 
#11
Be interesting to see if the CPS appeal the verdict. They must have thought there was a "reasonable prospect of a conviction" to even bring it to trial in the first place.
 
#12
What I think you'll find is that the best court reporters in Britain are not currently working for the Lancashire Telegraph
 
#13
An 'improvised weapon' used in self defence used in a manner which could be argued that the 'defender' was unable to fathom intent, malice or comprehend a degree of forethought will not allow for criminal liability to arise. As such, if the jury cannot be sure if D intended to, or was reckless to, the consequences of his actions they will not be able to satify the mens rea required for an offence to have taken place. But yes, 'tis odd that 12 wounds and no guilt whatsoever.

Self defence (strikes in retalitation to an attack): Once, justified; twice, justified; thrice, accepted; fourth, arguable; fifth, negotiable; sixth, questionable; seventh or more, unlikely to satisfy the requirements for self defence. But the law will always create new precedents.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Be interesting to see if the CPS appeal the verdict. They must have thought there was a "reasonable prospect of a conviction" to even bring it to trial in the first place.
And if it's true that a previous jury were discharged then the inference is that the jury has been tampered with.

Caveat: there may well have been legitimate reasons, other than attempted tampering, for the jury to be discharged. But at first glance this does seem inordinately suspicious.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#16
An 'improvised weapon' used in self defence used in a manner which could be argued that the 'defender' was unable to fathom intent, malice or comprehend a degree of forethought will not allow for criminal liability to arise. As such, if the jury cannot be sure if D intended to, or was reckless to, the consequences of his actions they will not be able to satify the mens rea required for an offence to have taken place. But yes, 'tis odd that 12 wounds and no guilt whatsoever.

Self defence (strikes in retalitation to an attack): Once, justified; twice, justified; thrice, accepted; fourth, arguable; fifth, negotiable; sixth, questionable; seventh or more, unlikely to satisfy the requirements for self defence. But the law will always create new precedents.

No shit?
 
#17
Be interesting to see if the CPS appeal the verdict. They must have thought there was a "reasonable prospect of a conviction" to even bring it to trial in the first place.
Courts are most reluctant to overturn jury verdicts. It can happen but is very rare.

Sometimes the CPS and police regard a case as being, "so obvious" that they don't think it necessary to push the point with all the evidence they could. Should this happen then it leaves room for the defence to introduce doubt. The jury could then give the defendant the benefit of the doubt.

For example, I recall a case I watched in Basildon Crown Court. Two men were jointly charged with theft. The gist of the details being that they entered a part-time fire station when the crew had rushed out on a shout and took a jacket with items in it's pockets. They were caught with the jacket but there were no witnesses. It seemed so obvious that they did it that in the court the prosecution only gave an outline of the details. The defendants merely said that they found the jacket dropped outside, and that was it. It threw doubt on the prosecutions weak case and the defendants got the benefit of it. So, not guilty. The moral of the tale is that even when a case is considered obvious, the police and CPS should still go to town with gathering evidence and building a strong case.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top