JZ stood trial last week at Snaresbrook Crown Court, where he faced a charge of GBH with intent, and an alternative count of unlawful wounding. The charge against JZ arose following an incident outside a nightclub, where he was captured on CCTV punching the complainant once to the head causing a near-fatal injury.
The case put forward for JZ at trial was one of self-defence. It was the defence case that, having been threatened by the complainant, JZ began hearing voices instructing him that he need to protect himself from the complainant as he was under threat. JZ, a man with no previous convictions for violence, suffers from significant mental health problems stemming from a period of captivity in his native DRC. He was assessed at length throughout the proceedings by two psychiatrists and a neuropsychologist, all of whom agreed that he suffered from PTSD and paranoid schizophrenia, and that at the time of the incident he would have been fearing a heightened level of threat than the average person.
The trial lasted for four days and the jury returned a verdict of ‘not guilty’ on both charges. JZ was immediately released from the court to return home, where he is no doubt looking forward to being reunited with his wife and young daughter.
JZ was represented at court by Ravinder Saimbhi, instructed by Kevin Williams at our London City office.