Daniel Penman secured the acquittal of a defendant charged with perverting the course of justice in a 6 day trial in Leeds Crown Court. The Defendant was charged alongside her husband, who was alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman on Christmas Eve 2020. The allegation against this Defendant was that she had lied about her husband’s whereabouts, saying that they had been together all evening when in fact they had not.

The Defendant’s witness statement had been taken the day after her husband was arrested by armed police late at night, when she had not slept and was heavily pregnant, with the taker of the statement giving her only half an hour’s notice of their arrival.

With the deployment of expert psychiatric evidence as to the effect of “baby brain” and an anxiety disorder on memory and cognition, the jury were unable to be sure that the Defendant had not simply made an error in her statement, and she was acquitted. Her husband was also acquitted of the offences alleged against him.