Shearman Bowen acted for a medical professional who had been charged with harassing a former partner contrary to the Protection of Harassment act 1997 . The firm was instructed after proceedings had commenced and we were tasked to consider if there was any basis to request the Crown Prosecution Service to reconsider their decision to prosecute.
Following instruction, an analysis was undertaken of all the facts surrounding the allegations together with a comprehensive review of our client’s medical history. As a result, lengthy and detailed representations were prepared and submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, requesting the case lawyer to review the matter and to consider whether the decision to prosecute remained in the public interest given the evidential and medical issues that we had identified as being relevant in the case. Following consideration of our representations, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to discontinue the case.
This was a fantastic result for our client and we are very pleased that he can now put this difficult period of his life behind him. Our client faced the loss of his career in which he is a world renowned and respected professor. Our client has commented as follows:
” I am very grateful to Shearman Bowen for their advice and care during what was a very difficult period for me. Mark Bowen not only has great knowledge of the law itself, but also of how it actually ‘works’ in practice. This is very reassuring to a client, and the more so when coupled with his empathic and related style of representation.”
The case demonstrates that, even when a decision has already been taken to charge a client with an offence, it is always possible to persuade the prosecution to reconsider that decision. Even though the case had been fully reviewed by the CPS when a charging decision had been made in this case, the CPS are under a continuing duty to consider any proper representations submitted throughout the currency of a case when deciding whether the evidential or Public interest test contained in the prosecutor’s code has been satisfied. Every client should not then accept the decision that has been made in their case but to seek advice as to whether there is a basis to challenge a charging decision.