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Magistrates court date 27th August advice please

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi,

I need some advice regarding an upcoming court case and really hope someone on here can help, I was charged with common assault on the 9th of July because of an incident which happened in my home on the 7th of July between myself and a visitor to my home.

Now this person went to hit me in my home and I slapped this person, the person was a woman and she was being hysterical (that and the fact she went to hit me first is the only reason I slapped her) I know it doesn't make it right but I only acted in self defence, and I pleaded not guilty to assault on the 17th of July and they gave a court date of the 27th August 2010.

Now since this all happened come this Monday just gone which was the 16th of August the witness against me (the person I slapped) as there were no other witnesses or people present in the house, rang the CPS and said she wanted to retract her statement, but I think it's too late as the court date is next Friday and she had someone come out to her house on Tuesday the 17th of August to take a retraction statement and to give her reasons why she wanted to retract her original statement (these reasons are unknown to me as I have not nor am able to contact her, nor would I want to) anyway on Wednesday she had a policeman knock at her door telling her she had to attend court on the 27th and if not she would be arrested, therefore I presume she has been summoned and HAS TO BE THERE.....

But what happens now?

She has been told she has to be there, I've been informed by my solicitor now she's been told by a police office that she does have to attend court but if she refuses to give evidence once at court they can't force her to, and even if she doesn't give evidence they can use her original statement against me without further consent from her because she signed it originally to say everything she said was true, and even though she doesn't support a prosecution apparently they can use that statement against me as they would deem that as enough evidence against me even though there were no other witnesses but her.

Can someone offer me some advice please as this is and will only ever be my 1st and last appearance in a court!

I look forward to some constructive responses.

Thank you.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We are not law experts in here, but I imagine that without any intimidation from yourself, the fact that she has attempted to retract her statement and/or failing to give evidence at court might be a point that your defence representation might be able to use.

    Apart from that I cant offer any further advice, good luck with the case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The way the law works is the police can follow through on any cases they wish to. If the victim / witness no longer wishes to proceed for whatever reason the case will be looked at and the CPS will decide if they still have a reliable chance of getting it through court, if they believe they do, they will continue even if this goes against what the victim wants, so yes if she has been told she has to be there, indeed she does. As soon as an offence is reported the victim has very little say in the case from then on, and the police are able to handle it in whatever way they see fit.
    Now this person went to hit me in my home and I slapped this person, the person was a woman and she was being hysterical (that and the fact she went to hit me first is the only reason I slapped her)
    If you told the police this, THAT is why they are going ahead with court, because not only do they have her statement, they also have your confession! If you did not tell the police this and denied the whole thing then it's very unlikely, with her withdrawing her statement, to go much further and you're likely to get off with it. For common assault and a first offence: it's not as if the full weight of the law is going to come down on you! :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Duker5 wrote: »
    Now this person went to hit me in my home and I slapped this person, the person was a woman and she was being hysterical (that and the fact she went to hit me first is the only reason I slapped her)
    Blacksheep wrote: »
    If you told the police this, THAT is why they are going ahead with court, because not only do they have her statement, they also have your confession! If you did not tell the police this and denied the whole thing then it's very unlikely, with her withdrawing her statement, to go much further and you're likely to get off with it. For common assault and a first offence: it's not as if the full weight of the law is going to come down on you! :p

    I didn't tell the police that and I also didn't deny slapping her, my response to them asking why I slapped her and all the things they asked during the taking of my statement consisted entirely of NO COMMENT which I was advised to say by a solicitor.

    She has withdrawn her statement but the day after she did that a policeman knocked on her door and said she does have to attend court and if she refuses to give evidence then she may end up in trouble herself, but my solicitor says because she's withdrawn her statement and the fact she no longer wants to give evidence that she could be classed as a hostile witness and it could be thrown out.

    So even though she has now been witness summoned, in your opinion do you think it's still unlikely for it to go any further?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Any solicitor worth their salt will always tell you to answer with "no comment." If they do treat her as a hostile witness the case will be terminated, since there are no other witnesses, and she has already retracted her statement, it is going to be her word against yours. If it goes to court, provided you don't confess it, it will (almost definitely) come to nothing.

    Having said that, from what you have said it does seem to be a complete waste of resources, most cases similar to what you describe, wouldn't be making it to court in the first place!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    I agree with G on this one;
    G wrote: »
    We are not law experts in here,.

    We're not legal experts and we would not want to give you false advice.

    It would be good to talk this through with your solicitors. However, if you would like further help the Community Legal Advice organisation offer free confidential advice on their helpline. Their contact details are on the left side of this page; http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/gateway/ .

    Hope you get some answers soon!

    :)
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