Acquittal after ‘paradigm shift’ in barrister’s case

Oxford Crown Court
Oxford Crown Court

An Oxford Crown Court jury has cleared a Banbury man of any wrongdoing after he defended himself with chair legs when an attacker smashed his friend in the face with a baseball bat.

On Monday, Andre Hurst, 25, of Broad Street, Banbury was cleared of using or threatening unlawful violence and possessing an offensive weapon.

He had been accused jointly with Adam Doyle, 27, Waquas Khan, 20 and Dexter Williams, 24, all from Oxford, who were also all acquitted.

The court heard Mr Hurst was inside the Taste of Jamaica takeaway on Cowley Road, Littlemore on July 29, 2012, with Mr Khan and Mr Williams and had ordered food when a silver BMW pulled up outside containing Mr Doyle and a man who cannot be named for legal reasons.

This man got out and approached the takeaway brandishing a baseball bat, then smashed the window. Hurst and his friends picked up chairs and rushed outside in an attempt to defend themselves.

A fight broke out in which Williams was hit with the baseball bat, sustaining a broken jaw, and Williams and Doyle were run over by another vehicle, the driver of which remains unidentified.

Robert Spencer-Bernard, prosecuting, initially told the court Mr Hurst drove a black Astra which ran over Mr Doyle and Mr Williams, but last Friday he admitted this was mistaken.

James Reilly, defending Mr Hurst, said: “There isn’t very much against Mr Hurst and that’s why the crown haven’t gone into it.

“Where is this injury he is supposed to have caused?

“The prosecution came to court saying the Black Astra was driven at Mr Williams and Mr Doyle by Mr Hurst. Hang on a second, that’s not what happened! There are witnesses who say there was a silver car and that’s what drove into them. There has been a paradigm shift in their evidence.”

All four men congratulated each other and celebrated as the jury cleared them of both offences.