Hi, thank you for the information so far. Yes please, I’d like to clarify some more detail please. I’ve inserted the further questions into the text in capitals so it’s easy to see them.
I understand that it is impossible to predict what a Magistrate’s point of view will be, but if you could give me your best guess, or a range that it could fall between, then that would be very helpful. Sorry for any repetition in questions.Thank you.
1.Does the police notebook signed by her constitute a ‘statement’? If so, can she retract it if she wants to, so that the CPS can’t use it?
1 Yes, if this is a domestic squabble then a signed notebook will amount to a S9 statement. She cannot retract. Once a statement is made the case no longer belongs to the complainant. What she can do, of course, is tell the Crown that she doesn't want to support a prosecution but they do have a policy of summonsing for domestics basically because so many women waste their time in this way.
THE POLICE WERE CALLING HER A LOT AND ASKING HER TO PROSECUTE AND GIVE A STATEMENT. SHE DEFINITELY TOLD THEM NO ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS.
A) IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO WHEN YOU SAY SHE CAN TELL THE CROWN THAT SHE DOES NOT SUPPORT A PROSECUTION?
B) CAN SHE CALL THE POLICE UNIT INVOLVED AND TELL THEM THAT SHE DOES NOT WANT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN TO ME AND NOT TO TAKE ME TO COURT, OR TO ASK FOR THE ALLEGATION/CHARGES TO BE DROPPED?
C) IF THAT WOULD MAKE NO DIFFERENCE, WHAT ELSE CAN SHE SAY TO THEM?
(THE ONLY THING SHE IS NOT PREPARED TO DO IS TO TELL THEM THAT SHE LIED, BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T LIE)
2. Is there anything else that she can do to reduce the penalty that I face?
2 Not really. She can always plead for leniency at court but with domestics the court may interpret that as controlling behaviour on the part of the defendant. I she really wants to help then the thing to do is not to make reports to the police. Of course, violence isn't acceptable but there are those who might think that its a relationship issue for you to sort out and her to leave if she wants to.
OK, THAT MAKES SENSE. UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS ABOUT THE 6TH TIME THAT I HAVE BEHAVED LIKE THIS IN SIX MONTHS AS WELL AS BEING TOO CONTROLLING AND JEALOUS, SO I THINK SHE JUST COULDN’T TAKE IT ANY MORE AND I CAN SEE NOW HOW WRONG I HAVE BEEN. SHE DIDN’T KNOW THAT BY SIGNING THE POLICE NOTEBOOK THAT IT COULD BE USED, AND NOW WISHES THAT SHE HAD NEVER SIGNED IT BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT IN A GOOD STATE OF MIND WHEN SHE DID, AND DIDN’T FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANT.
3. Likely sentencing if this ‘statement’ is used/not used?
3 This is a higher end common assault and you can't hide from that. If its a first offence then probably you would avoid custody but its going to be an onerous community order.
OK, SO THE STATEMENT WILL BE USED...
A)PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME MORE INFORMATION/DETAIL ABOUT THE ‘PROBABLY’ AVOIDING CUSTODY?
B) IF UNLUCKILY A CUSTODY SENTENCE WAS DECIDED ON, WOULD I ACTUALLY HAVE TO ‘SERVE’ IT IN PRISON AT ALL, AND WHAT WOULD BE IT’S LIKELY LENGTH, IN AND OUT OF PRISON?
C)PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY ORDER I COULD EXPECT? (I.E. MAXIMUM LIKELY LENGTH, WHAT WOULD I MOST LIKELY BE ASKED TO DO?)
D) IF THERE WAS NO CUSTODY SENTENCED, JUST A COMMUNITY ORDER, WOULD I ALSO LIKELY BE FINED? WHAT WOULD BE A TYPICAL RANGE PLEASE?
4. How to plead?
4 If she is not likely to support this then you should really plead not guilty unless she actually walks through the doors of court and indicates she will give evidence. Its a matter for you and your legal team of course but I certainly wouldn't let a defendant plead in your circumstances.
A)I TAKE YOUR POINT, BUT I ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE IF I ADMIT TO WHAT I DID BUT ALSO GIVE MY SIDE OF THE STORY TO THE COURT THEN THIS WILL ALL BE CONCLUDED QUICKER – MAYBE EVEN ON THE DAY? THIS IS WHAT I WOULD PREFER TO DO AS LONG AS I DO NOT GO TO PRISON. I DON’T INTEND TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS AGAIN AND GENUINELY WANT THE ANTI-DV COURSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I CAN’T FACE THE IDEA OF A NUMBER OF COURT DATES AND TRAWLING THROUGH EVIDENCE, AND THEN POSSIBLY ENDING UP WITH THE SAME SENTENCE ANYWAY? I JUST WANT IT OVER QUICKLY AND TO GET ON WITH MY LIFE.
B)CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE VARIOUS LIKELY OUTCOMES IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF COURT DATES, EVIDENCE BEING PRESENTED, AND DIFFERENCE IN SENTENCING OF: (I)PLEADING GUILTY, OR (II)ADMITTING THAT SOMETHING HAPPENED AND PUTTING MY SIDE ACROSS, OR (III)PLEADING NOT GUILTY?
5. How that will affect the sentencing/what will the likely sentencing be either way?
5 A conviction or a late guilty plea does mean that you don't get credit for pleading not guilty but you have to balance the risks. If there is a chance of getting off entirely then a guilty plea isn't overall a good deal.
THANK YOU. I’VE ASKED QUESTIONS TO DO WITH THIS ABOVE....
6. In court will they play her 999 phone call for everyone to hear? Will I also hear it?
6 Yes, if the Crown rely on it they will disclose it to you.
I REALLY DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO HEAR IT...
A)BY PLEADING GUILTY DOES THAT MEAN THEY WON’T HAVE TO PLAY THIS EVIDENCE IN COURT?
B)BY ADMITTING SOMETHING HAPPENED AND PUTTING ACROSS MY SIDE OF THE STORY, DOES THAT MEAN THEY WON’T HAVE TO USE THIS EVIDENCE?
C)BY PLEADING NOT GUILTY DOES THAT MEAN THEY WILL DEFINITELY USE THIS EVIDENCE?
7. After court, if I am not taken into custody, will I still be commanded to stay away from her and will it be an offence if I then contact her?
7 They could make a restraining order. If you breach that then it will be an offence even when she phones up and encourages you to do that. Its completely unfair and we should stop prosecuting it. However, its the position now.
IT WOULD BE THE SAME AS THE BAIL CONDITIONS THAT I HAVE NOW, AND YES UNFAIR, AND ADDED PRESSURE ON BOTH OF US.
A)CAN SHE ASK THE COURT NOT TO MAKE A RESTRAINING ORDER? HOW CAN SHE ASK FOR THIS – VIA THE POLICE UNIT?
B)WHAT LENGTH WOULD IT BE LIKELY TO BE FOR?
8. Can you tell me about how to arrange for a translator and if I have to pay for it?
8 If you need a translator then the Court will organise it. They do need to be satisfied that you need one though.
THANK YOU. I DEFINITELY DO – MY FRIEND IS WRITING THIS.