Jillian Williamson, Associate of Der Burgis, blogs about mistaken identity. Ms. Williamson was successful in defending her client on the issue of mistaken identity against charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. (Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.)
That’s not him! A Crown witness says to the Crown Prosecutor, while she sat in the gallery of the courtroom and looked at the Accused on the prisoner box.
It all began back at the Pint Pub in September 2014; a typical busy night. Except for when Mr. Hess, a patron, entered the stairwell heading downstairs to smoke he was attacked. A large black male stepped in front of him and stopped him. A second male either, Hispanic or Asian, hit him in the face with a glass of beer. The glass smashed on his face – blood went everywhere. Several people came to Mr. Hess’s aid. In all the chaos, the culprits quickly left the pub. Two men were eventually charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. Mr. Grayson, a client of Der Burgis represented by Jillian Williamson, was the man alleged to have hit Mr. Hess with the glass.
Mr. Grayson told Ms. Williamson consistently from day one of meeting that it wasn’t him: that he was not at the Pint Pub and never assaulted anyone with a glass. His charges were set for trial.
The investigating police officer was convinced the attacker was Mr. Grayson. The video evidence showed a man who looked similar to Mr. Grayson. The man had darkish skin, about 5’ 10, and short dark hair; features similar to Mr. Grayson.
Ms. Williamson questioned the Crown’s evidence of identify by calling a witness: a friend of Mr Grayson who was at the Pint Pub that night and could say for certain that Mr. Grayson was not there.
A trial was set. Mr. Grayson was out on bail pending his trial and went about his business waiting for trial day. And wait he did. The trial date loomed over his head and weighed on his soul. He was anxious. He was nervous. And, he knew his jeopardy was jail for assaulting a person with a weapon.
Eventually, his trial day came. While waiting for the Judge to arrive in the courtroom,
The Crown Prosecutor approached Ms. Williamson and said in reference to Mr. Grayson the accused who was seated on the bench that’s not him! as those were the words uttered by the Crown’s witnesses to him just seconds before.
The police arrested and charged the wrong man! The police took Mr. Grayson’s fingerprints and mug shots. He lived for nearly two years under bail conditions that restricted his liberty. Mr. Grayson had to hire and meet with his lawyer several times; taking time away from work and his family. His friends who were defence witnesses were also burdened with this process. Mr. Grayson was emotionally effected by this ordeal, an ordeal that took almost two years of his life to complete. And finally, on his day of reckoning, that’s not him were the words that lifted the weight bearing down on him.
Mr. Grayson will never get that time back. He knew that he was innocent and chose to stand up to the behemoth of the state. He chose the firm of Der Burgis and hired Jillian Williamson to fight for him. It was a very rewarding result in the end for Ms. Williamson: to have an innocent client and see him be victorious.
Innocent or guilty Der Burgis Criminal Defence Lawyers take the representation and legal issues of their clients extremely seriously and works tirelessly to achieve the desired results.
The seminal cases for mistaken identity is Steven Truscott and David Milgaard.