We were called to the police station recently to represent a client who had been arrested in relation to an allegation of murder. The police told us that during an argument, the suspect attacked the victim by placing both hands around his neck. During this tussle, the victim collapsed and died.
This incident was witnessed by a family member, who was adamant that the suspect had put his hands around the victim’s neck, resulting in strangulation. The client said that at no point did he do this. There were no abrasions or pressure marks to the victim’s neck as one would expect. The post-mortem was inconclusive and stated the cause of death was “complex”.
Our client was released on bail to allow time for the preparation of toxicology reports and further examination of the deceased. We believed that the deceased had an underlying serious heart condition that could have been the cause of death. Representations were made to the police who, having considered all the evidence, decided to take no further action against our client.
This case shows how important it is to receive good quality legal advice as soon as an arrest is made. PDS lawyers were proactive in making early representations about the actual cause of death and this resulted in a timely decision by the police.