Stokoe Partnership Solicitors Partner Brian Swan successfully defends Ashan Crosdale and his brother in murder case

On Thursday 19th February 2015 at the Criminal Central Court, Ashan Crosdale, 20, a young musician and promoter of anti-gang events in Hackney, was acquitted of the murder of Charlie Burns, who was stabbed to death in August 2014. His younger brother was also acquitted of murder, but was convicted of manslaughter.

The brothers were successfully represented by Brian Swan, leading criminal defence solicitor and partner at Stokoe Partnership Solicitors. Swan said:

“I was pleased both our clients were correctly acquitted of the murder of Charlie Burns. The full acquittal of Ashan Crosdale in particular further calls into question the doctrine of joint enterprise in cases such as these.”

Ashan Crosdale’s younger brother is due to be sentenced for manslaughter on 1st April 2015.


Background to the case:

On 18th August 2014, an incident occurred on Darnley Road, Hackney, which resulted in the death of one of those involved, Mr Charlie Burns.

Parts of the incident were captured on footage from various CCTV cameras in the local area. The CCTV evidence showed the deceased driving a vehicle with two other occupants. They were pursuing a vehicle in which the two defendants were the only occupants.  The car chase came to a halt when the deceased drove in front of the defendants’ vehicle – preventing them from moving forward. The deceased then emerged from the vehicle armed with a baseball bat and knife. The defendants, in an effort to avoid any confrontation, reversed their vehicle some 200 yards into Darnley Rd, in order to get away from the inevitable attack. Tragically, the defendants lost control of the vehicle as they reversed away from the deceased, who gave chase on foot, causing them to crash and come to a halt.

Both defendants were immediately set upon by the deceased, who managed to catch up to the vehicle following the crash. Eyewitnesses saw the deceased brandishing a baseball bat as he chased the vehicle. It was the defence’s case that he was also armed with a knife, and this was supported by forensic evidence. This was confirmed when the deceased’s DNA was found on the handle of a knife discovered near the scene. The defendants, unable to escape the attack following the car crash, defended themselves from their armed attacker, resulting in the deceased being stabbed with the very knife he brought to the scene.