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Chris Henley KC

Auriol Grey’s Cyclist Manslaughter Conviction Quashed

08/05/2024

Chris Henley KC was part of the new team, with Adrian Darbishire KC, Tom Doble and Brad Lewis, and Ben Rose of Hickman and Rose, who successfully argued that the prosecution case against Auriol Grey was misconceived as a matter of law, and the trial Judge’s directions to the jury were defective. In essence, no ‘base offence’ was identified and the jury were not directed about the facts they needed to find proved. The Court of Appeal today agreed with those submissions and found that the prosecution case ‘was insufficient to have even been left to the jury’. Auriol Grey’s original solicitors and counsel had advised that there were no arguable grounds of appeal against the manslaughter conviction.

The President of the Kings Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp DBE, who gave the judgment of the court, described the death of Celia Ward, who had been cycling on the pavement, as a tragic accident, and made clear that the evidence did not disclose any criminal offence committed by Auriol Grey, who is disabled, autistic and partially sighted. The single Judge had refused leave to appeal against conviction and as a result Ms Grey had spent more than a year in custody before her eventual release. Chris and the new team all acted on a pro bono basis throughout.

The Judgment can be viewed here.

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