Dr Andreas O’Shea, briefed by Dante Leccacorvi of Whitelock and Storr Solicitors, represented Aston Sterling at Blackfriars Crown Court. The defendant’s house was burnt down by his now deceased uncle on the 19th April 2017. 7 days later he went to the property with a friend, Aaron Thomas. After spending less than 25 minutes at the property the friends left in different directions in different cars. Some minutes later an armed response unit stopped the car in which Thomas was travelling. Attached to his body was a bag with a jammed and loaded revolver inside. The gun had a strong smell of smoke. Also in the bag was ammunition that was fire damaged. The car Sterling in was also stopped by an armed response unit and a large quantity of cash was found in his car, also smelling of smoke.
This was Sterling’s third trial. In the first, the jury was discharged after a juror was found to have been conducting internet research. In the second trial Sterling’s four co-defendants were all unanimously convicted and given sentences of 20 years plus. Thomas was given a life sentence. The jury could not, however, reach agreement on Mr Sterling and was duly discharged. Mr Sterling was tried for a third time from the 1st April until the 12th April 2019 and unanimously acquitted on the counts of transfer of a firearm and the possession of ammunition with intent to endanger life. He has now been released after 2 years in pre-trial detention.