Man cleared of drug driving after failures in disclosure of evidence

Posted On 18 Feb 2020 at 2:22 pm

A man has had a drug driving charge dismissed because of a failure by the prosecution to disclose evidence to the defendant.

A court was told that the Crown Prosecution Service appeared to have been sending information to the wrong email address.

Robert Stephens, also known as Lewis Bacon, had denied driving while unfit through drugs in Vernon Terrace, just off the Seven Dials, in Brighton.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court the case against him was dismissed by District Judge Amanda Kelly after the prosecution accepted the error and offered no evidence.

The court had heard that Stephens, 30, of Brookers Close, in Ashtead, Surrey, told police that he had smoked cannabis the night before.

And a drugs wipe indicated that he had cannabis in his system.

This was said to have been confirmed by a blood test at the Sussex Police custody centre, in Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury.

Stephens was reported to have the equivalent of 2.3 micrograms of a chemical known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of his blood which indicated that he had taken cannabis. The legal limit is 2 micrograms.

But his barrister Richard Saynor said: “The crown has failed to disclose, wholesale, materials in this case because they admitted that they have been using the wrong email address.

“The prosecution should withdraw the case and offer no evidence.

“The defence are prevented from having the information required.”

District Judge Kelly accepted that the Crown Prosecution Service had been emailing the wrong address.

She said: “There’s a lot of mystery surrounding all of this. I am ruling that the evidence should be excluded.”

She dismissed the case and awarded Stephens costs from central funds.

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.