Being able to identify these breaches of protocol and the failure to follow guidelines, can be instrumental in successfully challenging the admissibility of evidence or having cases discontinued altogether.
In most cases investigators, will take shortcuts and if necessary cover their tracks at a later stage. We have previously encountered instances where investigators have deliberately avoided specific lines of enquiry because they would have led the investigation down a particular path that was beneficial to the defence.
Our enquires often trigger further prosecution disclosure, which would then allow defence teams to work on further aspects of the case. Our service adds value and compliments the preparation work done by firms and organisations.
Our service is targeted at specific areas relating to the investigation stage. It is the investigation and the investigators who will be subject to our review. We review the conduct and manner of the investigation. We will provide a report detailing each breach of guidelines and protocol. In almost every investigation there will be mistakes by the investigators. By identifying these mistakes a prosecution and investigation can be undermined.
Our service is not designed to replace the work carried out by lawyers. We cannot of course replicate or substitute the legal work carried out by defence teams.
Our service focuses on those aspects of an investigation a defence lawyer will not normally consider. For example, how many lawyers can identify the 3 most common defects in a search warrant? Or would a lawyer be able to recognise tell-tale signs in the unused material of an informant?
Our report will generate further areas of preparatory work for lawyers as it will increase the lines of enquiry for defence teams and provide the basis for legal argument applications made at the pre-trial stage.
We can be charged to your client as disbursement, whereby your client is informed of unique advantages of the service we provide. Alternatively, we can provide you with a “white label” report, which you can charge directly to your clients on an hourly rate.
As stated previously, our team includes former investigators and detectives from a range of investigative authorities namely the Police, NCA, Serious Fraud Office and HMRC. All work is carried out in the strictest confidence and with full Non-disclosure agreements signed by all members of the team.
We provide assistance in all aspects of the investigation. Every investigation is unique and predicated by the alleged offence, available evidence and sometimes the personalities involved.
The areas where we have previously assisted defence teams are quite various and have included the following:
- Considering new or refreshed lines of enquiry.
- Identifying those parts of an investigation, which may be regarded as “sensitive”.
- Identifying a failure to fully disclose all disclosable items to the defence.
- Recognising deliberate non-disclosure of evidence from the MGC6 schedule or from patterns within the unused material schedule.
- Identifying defects in a search warrants – up to a third of all search warrants are defective, but are never challenged.
- Identifying defects in RIPA authorisations.
- Identifying defects in applications for production orders – these can often be challenged or limited in their scope.
- Identifying at an early stage whether prosecution witnesses have been offered any inducements.
- Challenging plans of crime scenes or video recordings made by investigators of crime scenes.
- Identifying individuals who may have relevant information and whom investigators did not interview.
- Tracing the continuity of exhibits, with a view to challenging their admissibility.
- Identifying a breach of guidelines where digital evidence has been extracted – it is common for investigators to not follow their own rules when accessing mobile phones and laptops.
- Identifying the use of informants or reliance on police intelligence.
In almost every investigation there will be mistakes by the investigators. By identifying these mistakes a prosecution and investigation can be undermined.
Our team is able to assist with all aspects of criminal investigations. Our advice is relevant to every stage of the criminal justice system – from arrest through to trial. Thematic reviews can be conducted on charged cases, pre-trial and convicted cases.
Matrix’s team will thoroughly re-examine all lines of potential enquiry in-order to assist with formulating an appeal against conviction and/or sentence. We work alongside and in conjunction with the client’s legal team to identify and follow up on those areas which appear to have not been fully examined in the first instance by the investigating team. Our wealth of policing and investigative knowledge allow us to take an holistic view of the matters in hand and identify avenues involving other potential assailants and/or evidence/witnesses not secured at time of trial which had they been would have assisted the accused.