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ABI Case Study – A Tight Squeeze

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Wednesday 21st February, 2018 | Author: Vince Butler [Member (F/1710)] | Filed under: Case studies

We received instructions from criminal defence solicitors in West Yorkshire. Their female client was accused of burglary/theft at a neighbour’s property. We were required to attend and prepare photographs also secure various measurements at the alleged break-in location.

On arrival at the multi-level bungalow, armed with the police and CPS photographs, I quickly identified the window in question which the defendant had allegedly smashed and entered via.

Having briefly met the defendant, it was quickly identified that there were a few questions to be asked of the prosecution.

The defendant was aged in her 50s, 5'2" tall and unsteady on her feet; partly due to being a former alcoholic and rather portly (rotund would be a better description maybe)!!

The window in question, although only a couple of feet from ground level, was only 10 inches wide. From the police and scene of crime images, when broken the window was a mass of jagged skin shredding glass. So, unless the defendant could, vampire like, turn into smoke to pass through the window, I questioned how it was possible. Such a large “intruder” would have undoubtedly left a trail of blood all over the house, window sill and the white curtains, but there was none!

The photographs and measurements taken, I returned to my office, prepared a report, indexed photographs and then prepared a cardboard template of the window dimensions.

Arrangements were made to meet the defendant at our clients’ offices, when the various images, descriptions and details were talked through. The ace in the pack was then introduced in the form of the window template and the defendant was asked to climb through it............not a chance and this is without the jagged glass shards!!

When arrested the defendant had no cuts, scratches anywhere on her body!!

The solicitors involved were adamant that had she climbed through that window, she would have been cut to ribbons and bled to death very quickly. The window template was to be a key exhibit in the case.

I was not required at court as my statement was accepted. I was informed that the defendant’s attempts to climb through the template failed every time, despite the prosecution trying it at various angles. The defence used the old saying: “You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole”!

Charges were dropped against the defendant as there was no evidence whatsoever once the window scenario had been simply proven to be impossible.

Another happy client.

Article submitted by Full Member (F1710) Vince Butler. For further info see here: Contact: