The jury in the trial of a bus driver accused of killing a Cambridge University medical student and dragging her body under his vehicle for more than half a mile has been discharged.Oh?
Firouzian, of Harrow Way, Watford, denied the charge, saying he thought he had run over a bottle initially and then a fox.
The court had been due to hear evidence from Firouzian today, but prosecutor Hamish Reid told the six male and six female jurors that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had conducted a review and decided not to proceed with the case.
He said: "The Crown Prosecution Service are satisfied there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction and would not seek to take this any further."Well, that was a spectacular waste of time, then, wasn’t it?
The judge told the jury that "no doubt there will be a review" into the case by the CPS.
Referring to the way the trial had been conducted, he added: "It sometimes felt as if I was sitting as a coroner and you were a coroner's jury. That was never the purpose in this case.
"The purpose was whether Mr Firouzian was culpable, whether he was to blame for what tragically happened to Miss Tan.
"The prosecution have, rightly in this case, come to the conclusion that they cannot ask for a conviction on the evidence they have been able to place in front of you."Why did they ever think they could?
Firouzian sat in the dock with his head bowed as a translator explained what was being said in the courtroom.Ah.
Judge Hillen said that in a coroner's court, the jury might have returned a verdict of misadventure or accident but that the prosecution had decided "they can no longer say that Mr Firouzian is blame-worthy".The CPS blame…well, expert witnesses, it seems:
A CPS spokeswoman said: "At the commencement of this trial we considered that there was a realistic prospect of conviction.
"During the course of the trial some key aspects of the prosecution evidence, particularly with regards to expert evidence, were undermined.
"This weakened the prosecution case and meant that we were unable to prove that Shahriar Firouzian had driven at a standard which was below that of a competent and careful driver.
"In line with our duty to keep cases under continuous review we have re-reviewed this case and concluded that there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction."So what has been the result?
Miss Tan is still unnecessarily dead, London bus drivers can still be people who can’t speak or understand sufficient English to understand court proceedings against them, and who can run over a pedestrian and assume they hit a bottle, then maybe a fox, and never at any point actually check,and the CPS can carry on spending public money like water, with no fear that they will ever be held accountable for it.
Lessons learned? What are those?