Successful Prosecutions

R v Arturas Raubickas

On 10 July 2017, Arturas Raubickas was convicted and sentenced for a battery following a complaint from the victim and a restraining order was granted. The defendant attended at her address on 29 July in breach of the restraining order, shouting at the victim through a closed window. He picked up a machete that the victim had left in the garden and threw it against a rear window causing it to smash. Raubickas denied the allegation in interview including attending the address at the relevant times. The victim was reluctant to give evidence. However, the incidents were witnessed by her two friends and her son. The 999 call which contained the initial complaint was served as part of the prosecution case. As the trial approached, there was an indication from the police that the victim and the two witnesses had returned to Lithuania in view of the lack of contact. A hearsay application pursuant to s.116 (witness unavailable) was made in advance of the trial date. The 28-year-old defendant pleaded guilty on the morning of the trial on 13 September 2017 at Walsall Magistrates' Court to Breach of a Restraining Order and Criminal Damage. He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

R v Pardeep Singh

The victim and defendant, Pardeep Singh, had been married since January 2017, although they had been in a relationship since 2014. The victim detailed repeated assaults by her husband for which she never sought medical treatment. She lived and worked in London during the week and On 2 June she was at home when the parties had a verbal argument. The 33-year-old defendant grabbed her hair and threw her to the floor. He slapped her to the face several times calling her a ‘'bitch'. The victim sustained bruising, sore neck muscles and cuts to the tops of her hands. He confirmed that he wanted her out of the house.  As a result of the above assault the victim also disclosed an incident dating back to May where she was punched by Singh in a vehicle. The argument continued on their return home and he pushed her into a wall and grabbed her hair. The defendant denied any assaults. The victim had confirmed her attendance at trial with the Witness Care Unit but confirmed that she was very frightened of the defendant and was particularly concerned about returning to the Midlands. She had moved to London permanently as a result. The Crown Prosecution Service identified that there were no direct rail links to Dudley from London and the victim’s attendance at Court would have involved a number of train changes. Of greater concern was her expressed fear at attending the Midlands area again. We applied for her to give evidence via a live television link from Westminster Magistrates' Court. This reduced her fear and anxiety and avoided complicated and unnecessary travel. The victim attended at court and gave evidence via the live link. There was further a successful application to have the screen turned away from the defendant to reduce any additional stress and anxiety. Singh was sentenced at Dudley Magistrates' court to an 18 month Community Order with 30 hours with rehabilitation and reparation. A curfew between the hours of 7pm-7am was also imposed for a period of 12 weeks. Restraining order also granted.

R v Ryan Burrows

The victim dialled 999 confirming that the 47-year-old defendant was refusing to return their child. On 14 February Ryan Burrows attended at the victim's address and kicked the door. When she answered he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her through a side gate. He hit her several times. Exterior CCTV captured this assault. On 19 April, the victim and the defendant made childcare arrangements.  She attended to collect her daughter but they began to argue. He dragged her by the arm into the address and pushed her to her shoulder causing her to fall backwards.  She was reluctant to support a prosecution and a witness summons was obtained. On the morning of the trial the Magistrates refused an application to adjourn the hearing in view of the victim's non-attendance. The prosecution made an application to prove the case on the basis of the 999 call and CCTV evidence. The Defence initially stated that would object as it was wholly prejudicial. They were advised that the tape could be stopped at the appropriate point and all other references to other violence was then edited by agreement. The Defence then tried to submit a s78 argument to exclude the evidence before the trial started after effectively accepting that res gestae could be adduced once edited. The bench decided that that any s78 argument/ submission that it did not amount to res gestae should be heard as part of the trial for determination. The trial proceeded victimless on the basis of the clear CCTV and 999 calls. They accepted that they passed the res gestae test (sufficiently contemporaneous with no possibility of concoction or distortion). The defendant was found guilty of assault by beating and on 25 September 2017, he was sentenced at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court to a Community Order of 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work.

R v Mariusz Bzozowski

The victim is a 54-year-old vulnerable female and the defendant had been living with her on an ad hoc basis since January 2017. Upon returning home in the early hours of the morning, the victim was subjected to a prolonged physical attack, during which Mariusz Bzozowski beat her with his hands, held her down to the extent of leaving large bruises upon her body; pulling a nightdress around her neck and throttling her, covering her face with a pillow and whilst doing so telling her that he would kill her and that he had to kill her. During the attack the 37-year-old defendant threw the victim's mobile phone against the wall causing damage to it. She suffered swelling and bruising to her jaw and arms. She left the premises and was seen by two CSOs, who sat in her car. They saw she was visibly upset, tearful and shaking. The lawyer reviewed the case promptly, and having considered the victim's initial recorded account, laid a further six charges, which reflected the seriousness of the offending behaviour. The victim subsequently withdrew her support of the prosecution and provided a further retraction statement. A witness summons was granted and served after obtaining a risk assessment from the officer in the case.  A precautionary hearsay application under the interests of justice limb was served, so that in the event that the complainant did not attend on the summons, we could proceed on a victimless basis.  The case was delayed substantially due to the defence failing to instruct an intermediary to assist with the defendant giving his evidence. The reviewing lawyer was robust in her handling of this, ensuring that the custody time limit was extended with each delay, and reminding the defence of their duty under the Criminal Procedure Rules to actively case manage. The reviewing lawyer also spoke to the victim directly. She was prepared to have a difficult conversation with an unwilling witness. The case was finally listed for trial on 9 June 2017 and the victim attended when the defendant entered guilty pleas to four offences (ABH, assault by beating x two and criminal damage). Given all of the aforementioned, these are pleas which we deemed acceptable. Bzozowski was subsequently sentenced at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court to 23 weeks in custody.

CPS West Midlands Magistrates' Court Unit

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all the agencies in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). We work especially closely with the police, although we are independent of them.

The West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Magistrates' Court Unit serves a population of over five million and deals with 88% of all crimes brought before a magistrates' court in the West Midlands region, which includes courts in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Staffordshire. The remaining 12% of more serious offences are dealt with in the Crown Court. The Unit also deals with British Transport Police (BTP) prosecutions in all magistrates' courts in England and Wales covering all offences which take place on or around the rail network and London Underground.

The Unit prosecute crimes such as offences of domestic violence, assaults, criminal damage, minor public disorder incidents, all but the most serious traffic offences, possession of drugs, dangerous dog offences, offences of dishonesty and commercial burglaries. The list is not exhaustive but generally comprises of any offence where the maximum permitted sentence for each offence does not exceed six months imprisonment or one year if two or more offences are to be considered. They are the type of crimes that affect the everyday lives of all members of our community.

We also deal with most, if not all, youth crime prosecuted in dedicated Youth Courts, unless the offence is so grave that it might attract a sentence of custody in excess of two years.

The Crown Court Unit deals with cases such as murder, rape, robberies, serious assaults, dwelling house burglaries, complex fraud, the supply and trafficking of drugs, and the most serious road traffic offences especially those that result in a fatality.

Sean Kyne is the Head of the Unit who together with Giles Henry, Business Manager, is supported by five District Crown Prosecutors together with staff comprising of barristers, solicitors, associate prosecutors, paralegals and administrative support staff. In our daily operations we work in partnership with all the agencies in the CJS.

We handle cases from the four police forces in the West Midlands region and BTP. The work is generally managed from Birmingham there is a satellite office in Stoke to serve the magistrates' courts in Birmingham, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stafford, Burton, Cannock, Worcester, Telford, Kidderminster, Hereford, Leamington Spa, Walsall, Dudley, Nuneaton and Redditch.

Transforming Summary Justice

Sean and a team of senior managers from the police, magistrates' court and probation service are leading on Transforming Summary Justice which aims to implement significant changes in the way summary justice is dealt with. The aim is to provide swifter justice, less distress for victims and witnesses, and helping all parties in the CJS to play their part more effectively. This process is a key reform in the CJS. The new initiative will split cases into dedicated guilty and not guilty plea courts ensuring that guilty plea matters can wherever possible be concluded on the first hearing date which will be listed 14 days after charge.

Anticipated not guilty plea cases will be listed 28 days after charge which will then allow time for review and preparation before the first hearing so the case can be properly managed prior to proceeding to an effective trial at the second hearing. At the first hearing the case will be properly managed in court to identify the issues in dispute and thereafter to ensure it is only those matters that require resolution by evidence called at trial. Wherever possible it is intended the trial will be conducted approximately six weeks later. This system is based on evidence of what already works well and has been designed to help to deliver a more effective and efficient approach to summary justice.

Domestic Abuse, Hate Crime and Custody Cases dealt with in the magistrates' court will operate with a dedicated team who will ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible but with particular attention to the enhanced needs of victims and witnesses.

Senior Management Team

Sean Kyne, Head of the West Midlands Magistrates' Court Unit

Sean KyneSean joined the Service in 2003 as a Crown Prosecutor and was promoted to Senior Crown Prosecutor in 2004. Since joining the service, Sean has worked on the advocacy, magistrates', Youth and Crown Court teams. In 2012 Sean established the West Midlands Early Guilty Plea (EGP) team which was nationally recognised as the highest performing EGP team in the country. In 2014 Sean was again promoted to District Crown Prosecutor. He was the Crown Court Area lead for Better Case Management and youth offenders as well as the national Crown Court lead for all BTP prosecutions. He took up his current post on promotion in 2017.

Gill Casey, District Crown Prosecutor

Gill Casey, District Crown ProsecutorGill is originally from Oldham who came to the Midlands initially to study. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1988 and worked initially as a court clerk at Birmingham Magistrates' Courts for five years before joining CPS in 1990. She has been managing for 10 years, with experience in magistrates court and Crown Court Teams in Birmingham, the Black Country and Droitwich. Gill is currently an advocacy lead in the magistrates court, guiding and developing lawyer staff.

John Baker, District Crown Prosecutor

John Baker, District Crown ProsecutorJohn Baker is the District Crown Prosecutor leading the Staffordshire Magistrates' Court Team which is based at Etruria, Stoke on Trent. It is responsible for prosecuting cases before Newcastle under Lyme, Cannock and Burton Magistrates' Courts. John qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and joined the CPS in October 1990. Prior to joining CPS he was in private practice specialising in criminal and family law. Since joining CPS John has worked on the teams prosecuting at Walsall, Dudley, Halesowen, Stourbridge, West Bromwich and Warley Magistrates' Courts. He gained promotion to his current grade in 2001 and was appointed as Head of the Criminal Justice Unit for West Bromwich. Since then John has gone on to be Head of the Walsall Criminal Justice Unit, and has also been the Charging Manager responsible for the delivery of daytime charging advices in the West Midlands. He secured the Law Society exemption, for Higher Rights, in October 1999.

Emma Lile, District Crown Prosecutor

Emma Lile, District Crown ProsecutorEmma is from Birmingham and originally joined the CPS in West Mercia in 1997 as an administrative member of staff. She has worked within a number of business and legal roles for the service, both in the magistrates and Crown Court departments. Emma was an Associate Prosecutor for seven years in both Gloucester and Droitwich. She was sponsored by the department to complete her Legal Practice Course, which she did at the University of the West of England on a distance learning basis whilst working full time. Emma was also an in-house trainee solicitor, qualifying in 2010. She was promoted to her current grade in July 2016 and is responsible for magistrates' court cases which appear before the courts in Birmingham and Coventry.

Emma Tait, District Crown Prosecutor

Emma TateEmma studied law at Nottingham Trent University and completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies at Birmingham University. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2002. Prior to joining the CPS, Emma worked in private practice specialising in property law. She joined CPS West Midlands in 2004 and was appointed to her current role of District Crown Prosecutor in 2017. She has worked across both Crown Court and magistrates' court teams, and she is the Domestic Violence lead for the magistrates' court Unit. 

Lauranne Middleton, District Crown Prosecutor

Lauranne Middleton, District Crown ProsecutorLauranne is from Wolverhampton and obtained her law degree and Legal Practice Course at the University of Wolverhampton. Following 10 years working in criminal defence, including working on several high profile murder cases, she joined the CPS in 2000 as a Crown Prosecutor. Lauranne has worked in our magistrates' and Crown Court teams as a Senior Crown Prosecutor and was part of the team who formed our Victim Liaison Unit dealing with complaints and feedback from victims and witnesses. She began her current role in July 2016 and is now responsible for British Transport Police prosecutions in the magistrates' courts.