Advise the CPS in the case of Gordon Masters who has been charged with two counts of robbery.

Advise the CPS in the case of Gordon Masters who has been charged with two counts of robbery..

Regina v Gordon Masters

You are asked to advise the CPS in the case of Gordon Masters who has been charged with two counts of robbery. The first dates from the 01/07/2020. The second dates from 08/12/20. Both were committed on Manning Way in Leicester.

At approximately 20.30 hours on 01/07/20, Jane Grieves was walking along Manning Way on her way from having purchased a new laptop. She felt someone grab her from behind and push her to the floor. Her laptop (which was still in its box) was taken from her. The incident happened so quickly that she did not see her assailant. She reported the incident to the police.

PC Dreyfus was on duty on foot patrol in Leicester at 20.27 hours on 08/12/20. As he approached Manning Way a female ran up to him. She identified herself as Claire Towers. She was in a state of distress, crying and shaking, and said ‘my boyfriend is being robbed by Gordon.’ This statement is captured on PC Dreyfus’ body camera. PC Dreyfus rounded the corner and saw two males.

The taller of the two males had the shorter male pinned against a wall. The taller male ran away and PC Dreyfus chased him. They ran over a bridge over the canal and PC Dreyfus saw the man throw what looked like a bundle of clothing into the canal. The man then ran into Parsons Road which PC Dreyfus knew to be a dead end. PC Dreyfus entered Parsons Road. About halfway down he found a figure underneath a parked car. This was Gordon Masters. PC Dreyfus searched Masters and in his jacket found a credit card with the name ‘Peter Wilson’ on it. Masters was wearing a white T-shirt and grey jogging bottoms. He is approximately 5’ 10 has short blonde hair and a tattoo on his right wrist.

PC Gillespie arrived in a police car and conveyed Masters to Leicester police station. PC Dreyfus returned to the scene of the robbery where he found a male who he now knows to be Peter Wilson. He took Wilson’s details.

PC Gillespie believed that Masters may have been involved in other robberies which had taken place in the area. Gillespie executed a lawful search of Masters’ flat using his powers under s18 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act. In a bedside cabinet he found a laptop in a box which he seized. Jane Grieves has been shown the laptop and states that it is the same make and model which was stolen from her.

Peter Wilson attended Leicester police station the following morning and provided a statement. In it he stated that he had been walking along Manning Way with Claire Towers when they were approached by a man. He did not recognise this man, but Claire seemed to. The man was approximately 5’11, with short brown hair and a tattoo on his left wrist. The male was a wearing a grey hooded jumper. The male approached him and said, ‘have you got a light?’ Wilson said that he hadn’t. At that point the male grabbed him, pushed him against the wall and started searching him. He took his wallet which contained, amongst other things, a credit card. Wilson confirmed that the credit card which was recovered by PC Dreyfus is the one which was taken. He said that he does not know Gordon Masters but he believes that he used to go out with Claire’s sister. PC Dreyfus showed Wilson a picture of Masters on the internet. The picture was on a local newspaper webpage reporting on the fact that Masters had been jailed for rape. Wilson confirmed that that was the man who had robbed him. Following this, PC Dreyfus conducted a video identification parade with Wilson. Wilson identified the image of Masters as being the man who robbed him.

Masters was interviewed. He was represented by a solicitor. In the interview he made ‘no comment’ to all matters put to him. He was specifically asked to account for the presence of the credit card on his person, and the fact he was on Parsons Road. He made no comment in respect of all of these matters. PC Gillespie asked Masters about the robbery of Jane Grieves. PC Gillespie said to him ‘we’ve got CCTV of you doing it and your fingerprints all over her watch.’ Masters blurted out ‘how could you, I had a mask and gloves on.’ He replied no comment to all other questions. (In fact, there is no CCTV or fingerprint evidence, and PC Gillespie was lying).

PC Dreyfus arranged to speak to Claire Towers. He made an appointment to speak to her the following day. Unfortunately, that afternoon she was involved in a car accident and killed. PC Dreyfus took a statement from her sister Rebecca in January 2021 in which she confirmed that she knows Gordon Masters. She states that she went out with him 2 years ago and that Claire knew him and disliked him.

Masters is 45 years of age and has 6 previous convictions:
In 2002 he received a community order for theft of a laptop from a car.
In 2003 he received a sentence of 1 year imprisonment for a robbery where he pushed his victim to the ground and stole her handbag.
In 2004 he was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for robbery where he robbed an elderly lady at knifepoint.
In 2007 he received a sentence of 8 years imprisonment for rape.
In 2016 he received a sentence of 3 months imprisonment for shoplifting.
In 2017 he received a sentence of 2 years imprisonment for robbery.

Peter Wilson has indicated he no longer wishes to give evidence as he has received a number of anonymous phone calls threatening him and his car tyres have been slashed. PC Dreyfus has seen his phone and noted a number of calls from an anonymous number. He has also seen the damaged tyres.

The defendant was charged with robbery. He has been sent to the Crown Court. The defence have written to the prosecution stating the following:

The defendant will plead not guilty to the robbery on 01/07/2020. He will say he was at home at the time of the robbery. He purchased the laptop from a friend in November 2020. He will argue that the evidence of the confession should be excluded pursuant to PACE.
The defendant will plead not guilty to robbery on 08/12/2020. He will state that he was walking down Parsons Road on the evening of 08/12/2020 when he heard someone running. Thinking it might be somebody who was after him he hid under a car. He heard someone run past and as they did, they threw a credit card under the car which he picked up for safekeeping. A few moments later a police officer arrived and pulled him out from under the car. He will be arguing that the identification evidence should be excluded pursuant to PACE.
The defence will apply under s78 PACE to exclude Claire Towers’ statement of 8.12.20.

You are asked to advise on the strength of the case against Gordon Masters including the points raised by the defence as well as considering any other issues you think relevant.

The post Advise the CPS in the case of Gordon Masters who has been charged with two counts of robbery. appeared first on Essay Quoll.

Advise the CPS in the case of Gordon Masters who has been charged with two counts of robbery.


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