Formal apology from magistrates

PUBLISHED: 13:39 25 October 2007 | UPDATED: 12:57 04 May 2010

ELY magistrates have issued a formal apology to defendant Stephan Mann, because they unlawfully found him guilty of threatening behaviour last month. The conviction has now been quashed, because the court had no jurisdiction to make the decision. At Mann

ELY magistrates have issued a formal apology to defendant Stephan Mann, because they unlawfully found him guilty of threatening behaviour last month.

The conviction has now been quashed, because the court had no jurisdiction to make the decision.

At Mann's trial, he was charged with affray, and it was alleged he produced a knife when restrained by bouncers in Ely city centre.

But magistrates were not convinced that he had a weapon, so they acquitted him of affray, but decided he was guilty of a lesser offence of threatening behaviour.

On Thursday, magistrates were told that it was not possible for the court to convict a defendant of a lesser offence, when there is no charge.

Mann, 23, of Downham Road, Ely, was represented in court this week by solicitor Jacqui Baldwin.

"We did receive a letter from the court confirming that the decision was a nullity," she said. "A formal apology has been made to my client, and he accepts the apology of the court.

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