Published: 15th December 2023

Nina Grahame KC and Jane Greenhalgh successfully defended Brandon White, a 21 year old man of good character following a 5 week trial at Manchester Crown Court.

A complex and historic feud between 2 Manchester families had developed after another family member’s death in 2018. That death had been witnessed by the victim in this case, Warren Burns, who died after the infliction of multiple injuries in the bedroom of his partner’s home after she and the couple’s 10 week old baby had fled into the garden.

Nina and Jane’s client admitted presence and the use of limited, ineffectual violence, but denied any participation in unlawful violence, acting only in lawful defence of his uncle. In addition to consideration of non-accidental presence and defence of another in this joint enterprise case, an additional crucial issue for the jury was the relevance of honest but mistaken belief in self-defence. By detailed analysis, the jury were urged to carefully dissect and dismiss the prosecution ‘theories’ about BW’s involvement and the co-defendant’s lies.

BW’s credibility was of particular importance as his evidence incriminated RW, who was convicted of murder. DW was convicted of manslaughter. BW’s partner, tried for her alleged role in knowingly assisting him after the event, was acquitted. The verdicts followed more than 9 hours of jury deliberation over 3 days.

Nina and Jane combined their extensive experience of defending young people in joint enterprise cases, an area of law currently the subject of proposed and, in our view, much needed revision.

Nina and Jane were instructed by Ahmad Jawad of Central Chambers Law whose excellent preparation made a valuable contribution to this outcome.