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Prosecution witness in criminal court case.


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Hi,

I have given an official police witness statement for the prosecution in an upcoming criminal court case, and I am very anxious about what might happen. 

Specifically regarding being cross-examined. 

My statement is very short, and only a couple of paragraphs long, regarding a conversation I had with one of the victims. 

I have tried to research online about what information about me the defence barrister might be able to find and use to discredit me. 

I have by no means have a shady past but, I am concerned about what private information might be brought up, and as this is a case that will be in the national press as it is in the public interest.  The two preliminary hearings were reported in the papers.  

I have tried to research online what information the opposition can seek, but it is all very complicated. 

I believe that they can legally access public records, but I'm not sure what information public records hold. 

Can they access my medical records, educational history, HMRC, and Department for Work and Pensions? (I am a self employed sole trader).

 I was arrested once, and this was unfortunately instigated by the victim in this case, so could well be of interest to them. It resulted in no further action, however I have only discovered this week that that, in fact, this means I have a criminal record, and will be so until I am 100 (no chance)!

This has really annoyed me to say the least, especially since I asked him afterwards why he rang the police and he said 'for a laugh'. 

I have started to look into applying for it to be deleted, but again, if anyone has any advice on this I would be appreciative.

At the moment, my name isn't on the confirmed list to give evidence, but the detective I have been dealing with has said it is 'likely'.

The names of the victims in this case will not be allowed to be reported, are witnesses fair game for the press?

I really need no know how deep they can delve in to my life so I am prepared if my character gets assassinated in front of the nation.

I really wish I'd never agreed to this.

 

Many thanks

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this is not America, don't keep believing what you see on TV or about the USA means that happens here, it DOES NOT.

you won't and they can't use character assassination to try and discredit you nor can they access ANYTHING that is not already in the PUBLIC domain about you.

none of which you are fretting about are PUBLIC RECORDS.

as for 'being arrested = a criminal record' = untrue.

where did you ever get that idea from??

it is not publicly available and is only held on police PNC.

and no your details cannot be published in a news paper = same rules apply to you as the accused, in fact even more so.

you really do appears to be reading some very weird websites..

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

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If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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They will just ask you about your statement.

 

Its NOT a general life quiz. I saw a murder trial not long ago and its just they quiz on your statement

 I do not hold any legal qualification.

Nothing I say is meant as or should be taken as legal advice.

 

 

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On 23/04/2024 at 20:47, sprouting said:

I have only discovered this week that that, in fact, this means I have a criminal record, and will be so until I am 100 (no chance)!

In most cases, if you have a criminal record the police will retain this information for your entire life. However, as long as the offence isn't considered a specified offence, a criminal record check could come back clear after 6-10 years.

We could do with some help from you.

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Posted (edited)

OP stated they had been arrested, but not charged (let alone convicted). They DON'T have a criminal record, but do have an entry on the PNC.

That information stays on the PNC (Police National Computer) for life, but doesn't get released in a standard DBS.
It only MIGHT get released for an Enhanced DBS (eDBS) check  ... but it would be incredibly unlikely.

(The rational behind this is that eDBS's allow for 'information at Chief Officer of Police's discretion' ..... this covers the 2 'barring lists' and is also intended for the scenario where someone has multiple arrests or investigations, where safeguarding is a concern .... it was brought in after the Soham murders / Ian Huntley case, where the information known about the now-convicted child murderer may have prevented his employment in a school, had it been made available).

So, for the sake of accuracy and completeness, arrests stay on the PNC for life, wont appear in a standard DBS, MIGHT appear in an eDBS, but in reality, would be the exception rather than the norm, and I can't see them being released  to a defense barrister.

What then if the defence found out a different way, and brought it up in court?. Again, unlikely, but the important feature is that the judge would make sure they trod very carefully!. They MIGHT consider using it if there were other factors that allowed them to try to cast doubts as to the truthfulness of your evidence, but on its own : No way.

Anyone MIGHT be arrested (if a seemingly plausible complaint been made against them)!


The approach to take if it did come up is to be truthful. "Yes, I was arrested. It arose from a vexatious complaint. I wasn't charged, let alone convicted. That could happen to any one of us, if a vexatious complaint gets made"
Far better that than lying, saying you'd never been arrested, and getting caught in a lie : that would ruin your credibility.
I'm incredibly doubtful it will even come up, though.

Edited by BazzaS
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Thanks for your responses.  I feel a little bit better now.  I really got the wind put up me when I read about 'bad character and reprehensible behaviour of non-defendant witnesses' and the press guidelines from the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

court-reporting-public.pdf (ipso.co.uk)

Reporting Restrictions in the Criminal Courts (July 2023) (judiciary.uk)

It's a tricky one because, without going into too much detail, all of the victims are of bad character already, otherwise they never would have met the accused, and I fear that the very much tumultuous relationship I have had with the victim that connects me to this case is going to be broadcast for all to hear. The accused isn't going to be anonymous, his name and even his home address were reported in the national press in the preliminaries. 

 

Thank you.

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