A couple accused of causing more than £2,000 worth of damage at a luxury Birmingham hotel say they had drunk “spiked” drinks in a nearby Wetherspoons shortly before the incident.
The case against Emma Sweeney, aged 42, and James Sweeney, 40, which was set to begin on Tuesday August 30, completely collapsed due to “failings” from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS),
The couple, from Erdington, were subsequently acquitted of the allegations and appeared emotional as they left Birmingham Crown Court, where the trial had been relocated from Birmingham Magistrates' Court which is closed indefinitely due to fire alarm repairs.
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The incident had occurred at the four-star Hyatt Regency at Bridge Street on September 8 last year.
While the full the facts of the case were never fully revealed, the charges stated £2,160 worth of damage was caused to two glass doors.
Sara Wyeth, representing Emma Sweeney, stated the defendants had denied the allegations on the grounds of "excessive force and involuntarily intoxication", confirming the latter referred to their belief they had their drinks spiked at a JD Wetherspoon pub beforehand.
She argued the CPS had not complied with a court order made just last week in relation to the disclosure of evidence. One of the major sticking points was an outstanding statement from a police officer who had not provided it because they were on annual leave.
Arguing for the case to be adjourned further, prosecutor Mouzam Razaq pointed to the “notoriety” of the incident which was reported by Birmingham Live at the time.
Mr Razaq said: "The location where the offences took place is important. It's the city centre, a well-known destination.
"The incident itself involving James and Emma Sweeney attracted attention from a large number of members of the public and also the local press.
"It is going to affect confidence not just for those who work at the establishment but for those who visit the establishment and those who have a job securing this establishment."
District Judge Michelle Smith acknowledged the allegations were serious but concluded there was 'no explanation for the prosecution failings' and ruled that it would not be 'in the interest of justice' to adjourn the case.
She confirmed all charges against the defendants were dismissed.
The defendants' representatives confirmed they would be making an application for costs against the CPS.
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