THE Crown Prosecution Service has defended bringing a murder case to court — and later stopping it — after both defendants were cleared when a judge said there was no case to answer.
Isaac Mwanza (19), of Rother View Road, Rotherham, was cleared of the manslaughter of Isaiah Usen-Satchell (18, pictured) at Sheffield Crown Court last Wednesday (6) following a trial.
The jury were directed by Judge Peter Kelson to find Isaac Mwanza not guilty after prosecutor Kama Melly QC said that based on the evidence heard during the trial, there was no longer a reasonable prospect of convicting him of manslaughter.
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It followed discussions involving the CPS and barristers.
Isaac and his twin brother, Jacob, had already been cleared of the murder of Mr Usen-Satchell at the direction of the judge earlier in the trial, and Jacob had been cleared of manslaughter.
Mr Usen-Satchell was found lying in the road on St Aiden’s Road, Sheffield, at about 4.20am on New Year’s Day 2020 following reports of a fight between a group of men.
Police found him with serious arm injuries.
He was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.
A post-mortem concluded he died of a slash wound to his wrist.
Judge Kelson said: “The prosecution in my view could not have more assiduously sought justice for Isaiah.
“This has been a long trial, in the face of Covid, with a determined jury.
“It’s only when you reach this end of the microscope that you discover the massive potential shortfalls, but there had to be a trial to find that out.
“It’s the right solution to an incredibly unique and difficult case.”
A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defended its decision to stop the case.
“The CPS has a duty to keep all our cases under constant review,” she said.
“It is our role to put a case before a jury, where we have decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction. It is not our role to decide on innocence or guilt.
“Following the evidence given by the second defendant, Jacob Mwanza, and after consultation with counsel and with the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Court, it was decided to stop this case.
“In his comments, Judge Kelson stated that we were entirely correct to put the case before the court; and that, having heard the evidence given by the second defendant, the CPS acted entirely appropriately in stopping this case.”