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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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my son has been charged with criminal damage(breaking ex girlfriends

Customer Question

my son has been charged with criminal damage(breaking ex girlfriends phone) he was charged on 12.10.13 and has to be at magistrates court on 29.10.13. Can he see the evidence before he goes to court and how does he access this information from the police?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

You can see the case before it goes to court but advance information will be handed out on the morning of the 1st appearance.

The case will have been to him in interview but S9 statements and any other evidence relied upon by the Crown will be revealed on the morning of the 29th unless, of course, they have failed to do it and then it will lead to an adjournment.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The first appearance is at magistrates court. He was told whilst being in custody that cctv did not show anything....which is what the claimant is basing their evidence on. It is their word against his. Is he able to obtain this evidence from the police beforehand so he knows what he is up against. He claims it was an accident, he does not doubt the phone was broken but both parties had been drinking and it was at 4am in the morning but he did not do it intentionally which is what he is being charged for,

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, he cannot do that I'm afraid.

The police no longer own the case. Its with CPS now.

They will hand out anything that they rely upon on the morning of the 1st appearance. This is standard practice. The police never hand over case information. They haven't done so literally for 30 years since CPS was created and the police no longer brought the prosecution.

There won't be CCTV unless it was in a public place and even then its not likely to show anything conclusive given the small size of a phone. They will be relying on her statement and the damage to the phone. The evidence of damage could probably be agreed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

For Jo C,


If my son pleads not guilty on the day I understand that it will go to Crown Court....is that correct? If so could the punishment be more severe if he is found guilty? Can he see a duty solicitor on the day and would that solicitor be able to see the evidence before my son pleas.


 


Thank you.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, its a summary only offence unless this phone is worth more than £5000 which is not likely. It can only be tried in the Magistrates.

Punishments are potentially more severe in the Crown Court but, where Crown Court trial is available and there is a defence, its almost always the right thing to do to take Crown Court trial. Its a much fairer tribunal. Jurors are not generally as biased in favour of the Crown as Magistrates are.

If he didn't have a solicitor at the police station then he should see the duty solicitor at Court. If he did have a solicitor at the police station then it might well be that his firm will send somebody to attend at Court.

Yes, though he will have consultation before pleading. The prosecutor hands out the AI to whoever represents and you discuss the case before entering any pleas.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


For Jo C

 

Thank you for your help. Just one last thing. My son suffers from crohns disease and this was pointed out to custody officer at point of entry to police station when he was arrested.

 

He spent 9 hrs in custody and when he asked for something to eat was told they could not do anything right now and when he told them there was no toilet paper in the loo in the cell was told the same thing. he therefore spent 9 hours in custody with no access to food and proper toilet facilities whilst suffering from a chronic bowel disease

 

Can we do anything about this as this would have made him suffer a fair amount of discomfort and would have made him very agitated.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. This didn't show in my ibox.

Its not a good idea to raise complaints about the police at this stage. You can always do it when the case is over.

The simple answer is that it depends what actually happened. I was a police station rep for years before i went to the Bar and I know that the police take hours to do anything at all but they don't usually deny food entirely. If he was only in for 9 hours then there might be an explanation for this. If they did deny food entirely without an explanation then there might be merit in a complaint to the IPCC.

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