Not the easiest of trials to run. Quite a bit of tension in the Court as you might imagine, with the relatives of the deceased looking for closure and the defendant accused of taking the life of another.
CPS said they were ready to proceed with all witnesses present. Defence advocate leapt to her feet and suggested that they had not been given disclosure of most of the prosecution evidence. A point which Andrea raised with the CPS advocate who rifled through his papers, muttering and shaking his head and clearly trying to be seen to be doing something when in fact, the question was simple. Had the CPS given the defence advance disclosure or not? She reminded him of the simplicity of her question, requiring an answer of yes, no or don't know.
Eventually he conceded that which had become obvious to Andrea and her colleagues almost immediately. Disclosure had only been partially completed.
What this means is that the evidence not disclosed cannot be adduced by the prosecution and, apparently it clearly blew the prosecution case out of the water. He then applied for an adjournment to make full and proper disclosure to the defence. Something which the defence can object to although normally, other than a cursory comment, such an application is not contested. Certainly in such an important case. However, the defence advocate got to her feet and made it clear that the application was opposed, on the grounds that this was the second hearing of the trial, the first hearing having been adjourned because the CPS had not made full disclosure.
The defence advocate took her seat saying as she did so that the defence were ready to proceed with the trial.
As this was the second occasion that the very same thing had occurred, the Bench had no choice, in the interests of justice, but to insist that the prosecution case should begin, at which point the CPS advocate rose to his feet and asked leave to offer no evidence, leaving the Bench with no option but to find the defendant not guilty.
Andrea and her Bench don't know whether the defendant was guilty or not. Nobody does. The trial wasn't heard. If he was not guilty he has been robbed of his chance to prove it in Court. If he was guilty, he is a very lucky individual.
What of the family of the deceased? No closure for them I fear.