What is puzzling is that CPS did not seek alternative charges being laid when the trial started, in particular Death by Reckless Driving
I take it you mean causing death by dangerous driving, there is no such offence as death by reckless driving.
Correct, my mistake not to check the legislation.
Two issues there, the CPS seemed determined to get convictions against all eight, death by dangerous driving charges could only have been brought against one or more of the drivers.
I didn't want to get too immersed in legal options, but conspiracy appears to have been an option, especially as three cars were involved.
Secondly, unlike murder with a charge of death by dangerous driving or for that matter manslaughter (of which they were all also cleared) a defence of duress would be available. Having up to 80 men with swords, sticks and throwing bricks at your car would certainly put you in fear for your life or serious injury.
Yes, but in the circumstances it was far better that a jury decided.
Three cars, with at least eight males aboard, encounter a "defenders" roadblock. Was their only option to go ahead? All three cars go ahead, yes maybe in a panic, although I have my doubts.
I would suggest you go to the scene, or look on Street View, and consider if anyone but a stunt driver could rapidly turn there car around in the face of a baying mob and head in the opposite as you are suggesting.
I have been to the location three times; the petrol station is the only open space in the vicinity to have a roadblock. My recollection was that the traffic flow was all one-way at the time.
The allegation of perjury against DCI Tagg is serious. It was clear from the very limited press coverag
e of the trial that considerable time was taken up by legal argument - when the jury would not be present and so could not be prejudiced by the issues raised. Offering immunity from prosecution for crimes to prosecution witnesses falls under the complex and little used provision known as SOCPA (actually the abbreviation for an Act of Parliament). Such offers must be agreed by CPS at every stage, for the official advice:http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/socpa_agreements_-_practical_note_for_defence_advocates/
BIB, on a general point, why was there so little coverage in the local media during the twelve week trial? Reporting restrictions? Press and the police agreeing to play it low key in the interests of community relations?
I asked a journalist that too. Their response was that assigning a reporter for such a long trial, which now only had an impact in the city would not get national interest. Yes reporting restrictions wouldn't help, nor the lengthy legal arguments. It is easy to suspect the local press and agencies agreed to stay-away, although I have m' doubts over an agreement with the police or others, like BCC.