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Hello. I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
Has you wife been arrested. If she has been charged then she would need to have been arrested and held by the police (had fingerprints taken etc). If this all happened on Halloween last year why has it taken so long for police to get involved?
HI thanks for your reply.
Apparently the compliant to the police was not made until 3/4 days after the 31st, so after the offending child had been to our house with his dad to apologise profusely. I did tell them at that this time that their behaviour was unacceptable and that I would be talking to the other lads parents, i never did but I believe hat this scared them and prompted the action they took.
My wife was not arrested and did not have finger prints taken, all she did was go to the station (the police left a note through our door when we were out at work), she attended and gave a statement. The police then made an appointment to come and have a look at the toy gun (which is a bright orange toy!). We heard nothing since until last night when the police called to the house to advise that she was being charged, apparently the file had been to the CPS? We understand that all of the lads involved have been interviewed/video, but this was months after the event and clearly a story has been agreed?
Thankyou for this. I was away from just answer for much of the weekend but have now seen this. I will be in curt this morning and will answer you later today.
OK thank you.
Ok so there is suspicion that you wife has committed the offecnes of S4 POA (Threatengn behaviour) and Common assault x2. The incidents arose on 31.10.13 and are describe din your initial question in some detail.
You say your wife has been charged with these offence. In order to be charged one needs to be present at a police station and would be handed a charge sheet setting out the offences alleged and the charge sheet would also have a court date on it. The Sargent would formally read the charge to the detainee. It is a little unclear to me what the police have actually done here. Normally if an allegation is made then the person accused is arrested and questioned under caution (“you do not have to say anything etc.”) by the police with the interview being tape recorded. When your wife gave her statement did she give it on tape under caution or was it a witness statement with her as the complainant? Most interviews are carried out when suspects are under arrest and detained in the police station. You say this has not happened.
It is possible to start a case by issuing a summons which will then be served on your wife gicing the details of the court hearing and setting out the alleged offences. Is this what you have been told will happen?
As far as the allegations are concerned it seems that it is just the allegations of the boys concerned that may be used against your wife. This I am afraid is not unusual. Nor are false allegations unusual. The apology might well be relevant evidence. It might be a good idea for you to write down what happened when the boy came to apologise so that you have as early a written account as possible. If there were other people present at the incident who might be able to assist, you or your solicitors will need to speak to them to see if they are willing to come to court to give evidence.
In terms of what to do. Your wife is facing summary only offences. These must be commenced within 6 months of the date of the offence. If she has not been charged or an information has not been laid (the procedure that leads to a summons) within this time then she cannot be prosecuted. 6 months expires on 31.04.14. It is not unknown for these time limits to slip by. One approach would be to do nothing and hope the date passes by. The CPS Is not a very efficient body and it is possible that having made a decision to start proceedings they will simply forget to do so. Speaking to the police may simply lead to the case getting noticed again when it might be best left alone from your point of view.
If the children have given a statement by video then that is how children tend to give witness statements to the police and it would suggest that the police are investigating your wife for a crime against them. The CPS take charging decisions when referred case papers by the police.
If your wife is summonsed or charged before the time limit goes past then she will need to instruct a solicitor to defend her in court. Her first appearance in court will be to enter not guilty pleas and then a date will be set for trial.
Depending on means your wife may qualify for free representation under legal aid.
I hope this answer is helpful but please feel free to ask follow up questions.