Zaheer Afzal secures acquittals in an aggravated burglary case involving the crossbow murders of two men

Zaheer Afzal
Written by:

Dan Shriane


R v SA

Zaheer Afzal was instructed to represent SA along with eight other defendants in a 6-week trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court for offences of aggravated burglary where two men were murdered by a crossbow fired at them during the commission of the crimes.

Zaheer was instructed at a late stage in the lead up to the trial.  He worked hard to review the evidence with SA and advise him of the strengths and weaknesses in the prosecution case.

SA accepted Zaheer’s advice and decided it was prudent to adopt a different trial strategy to meet the challenge he faced from the prosecution. As a result of this change in tack the issues at trial were significantly narrowed with a consequent impact on the presentation of the prosecution case.

The prosecution were confident at the start of SA’s trial as this was the second trial they were prosecuting for aggravated burglaries in a series of three altogether.  The prosecution had been extremely successful during the first trial and a number of the co-defendants had been convicted.  Two of the defendants in SA’s trial decided the evidence they were facing was too strong and they also pleaded guilty to the aggravated burglaries before the trial began.

There was some strong evidence against SA including CCTV and the fact that he was arrested boarding a ferry with his co-accused.

Throughout the trial, Zaheer obtained further disclosure on behalf of SA and went on to carefully cross examine the expert witnesses who gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution.  

Zaheer developed strong points on SA’s behalf during the hearings using his knowledge of the case and long experience in trial advocacy over the last 20+ years.  In doing so Zaheer was able to establish good support for the defence case being put on behalf of SA.  Zaheer’s analytical approach to the huge body of evidence presented by the prosecution coupled with his empathy for SA’s predicament eventually resulted in him securing a complete victory at the trial on very serious charges of aggravated burglary.  A number of the co-defendants in this matter were given hefty sentences (double figures) of imprisonment so SA was overjoyed at being acquitted after his trial.

Written by Dan Shriane