Donate SIGN UP

Unreliable Witness What Now?

Avatar Image
simon202 | 02:14 Tue 10th Dec 2013 | Law
6 Answers
My Sister is facing charges of racial and religious verbal abuse, section 31 (1) c and 5 of crime disorder act. also section 4a and 5a public order act.
This is due to her neighbor lies that have been going on for years.
It is going to be held at a magistrates court in a few weeks.
There is no evidence that proves one way or another. My sister did have a witness.
However this witness is now her ex boyfriend who already suffers from depression, anxiety and S.A.D. Their relationship deteriorated and he has taken this very badly. One minute he is threatening to lie against her, another he wont show up and then says he will tell the truth as she wants.
You can imagine how worried my sister is already with the court without the added stress of this very unpredictable man.
Iv said to be honest and tell the court about him but understandably she is reluctant to even have him there. His testimony was sadly very important and she fears that the judge will say she is guilty based on this witness not being there.
I am grateful for any help during this upsetting time in our family.


1 to 6 of 6rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by simon202. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Do you have a lawyer? If so, tell them the problem.

Has the (ex-) boyfriend made any statement to police or any signed statement for your side?

Was the boyfriend a witness to the actual event, the verbal, racial, abuse itself or is he to give evidence of past behaviour or what he was told of this incident ?
"There is no evidence that proves one way or another..."

The CPS has a two stage test before deciding whether to authorise charges. The first of these is that there has to be sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable chance of conviction. So it follows that there must be some evidence to support the allegations. Bear in mind that the testimony of just one person often provides that evidence.

Your sister has to prove nothing - the prosecution has to prove their allegations beyond reasonable doubt. As Fred says, it is important that she follows the advice of her solicitor.
Question Author
Hi Thanks for reply, He gave a statement as he was there when these allegations were made and signed that no such thing took place. He has not been summoned as yet.
He will not be summonsed by the prosecution. If your sister wants him to give evidence in her defence she will have to call him herself.
Question Author
Hi NJ, will it go against my sister if my witness is not there and will his statement be used or shown to the judge?
This is always difficult for the advocate. On the one hand, the prosecution have to prove the case . The defendant does not have to prove anything. Indeed, sometimes counsel knows that the judge won't stop the case at the close of the prosecution's case because they have not established the case enough for any jury to convict ("no case to answer"), and counsel decides not to call any evidence, even that of the defendant. (If you are wondering, that is often because counsel thinks that the defendant will come across so badly in the witness box that any doubt of guilt the jury has will be removed by the defendant !)

Now, the other side of that is that the defendant giving evidence will be asked whether or will volunteer, that someone witnessed the events. Prosecuting counsel will immediately ask "Do you know this person? Have you seen them lately? Have you told them of the case? Are they here today? " That is all to suggest that the witness is nit being called because the account they would give would be damaging to the defendant, on proper examination.

The reason why I asked whether the witness had signed a statement is that, if called and hostile to the defendant, at least his statement can be put in front of him and he can be shown to be giving two different versions and thus discredited, as someone who says whatever suits his mood at the time.

In the end, you decide whether to call him by establishing, reminding him of his statement, what he will say on the day, what version he will give. If in doubt, you don't and you dismiss the prosecution suggestions about his absence by reminding the court that it is their, the prosecution's, job to call poroive guilt, not yours to prove innocence.

1 to 6 of 6rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Unreliable Witness What Now?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.