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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi, I have been misled into making a telephone statement to

Customer Question

Hi, I have been misled into making a telephone statement to the police. I heard my neighbour arguing/assaulting someone and called the police to attend and break it up. Next day the police asked me to make a statement via telephone. They did not make clear to me the statement could be used in court or that I could be required to attend court. I made them aware this was a very difficult situation for me as it was a neighbour and I would only discuss with them on condition of anonymity. The person taking the statement told me that it would be anonymous and nobody would even see my name. I have never signed any statement. I then received a phone call from the police station witness support team who told me I would need to attend court, and that it was not anonymous and that I must have been told wrong. I was then phoned by the police who asked me to make a withdrawal statement - I would not do this as I do not acknowledge I gave a statement fully aware of the implications. They told me they would issue a form to the CPS instead telling them I do not wish to proceed further and will not give evidence. I am very worried about this as if my name or details are divulged either in court or in sharing witness statements then it could lead to harassment towards me. I'd like to know what I can do about this statement if I consider I was mislead into making it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Have you been summonsed to Court or just informed you need to attend please?

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

just informed i need to attend

Alex Watts :

Ok - what you can do is give a statement withdrawing your support for the prosecution and saying you will not attend.

Alex Watts :

The Court will have a choice whether to accept it.

Alex Watts :

If you do not attend they may issue a witness summons - but it has to be served personally upon you.

Alex Watts :

If you still do not attend they may issue a warrant for you to be taken to Court.

Alex Watts :

But that is very unlikely indeed and normally only in domestic violence cases to get the partner who is the victim to Court.

Alex Watts :

You should just give the Police a further statement saying you will not go to Court.

Alex Watts :

That is likely to be the end of it

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

Ok. yes. I have a follow up. Firstly, when the officer phoned me to talk about a withdrawal and I said I felt misled into making the statement so didn't really want to attend the station to retract he told me he would send a "NG22" form to the CPS letting them know I would not attend court. Are you saying this is not really sufficient and I should definitely withdraw in person.

Alex Watts :

You need to make a statement saying you withdraw it, a simple letter wont do

Alex Watts :

If you gave a statement for the Police you need to give one saying you dont want to attend and support the prosecution

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

Even if this was over the phone and not signed? Secondly. As i was told i could remain anonymous I am worried my name or details will get passed to my neighbour (the accused) as this was a violent incident and I do not wish reprisals against me - is there any chance they will do this?

Alex Watts :

Generally if you have to give evidence, the Defence will now who you are

Alex Watts :

You can give evidence with screens or via video link but your details will still be disclosed

Alex Watts :

Its all about an open and transparent proseuction

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

But if i am not giving evidence and withdrawing a statement?

Alex Watts :

Yes that is what you are doing

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

So if i do this, they will not be passed my witness statement or withdrawal identifying me in the run up to the trial?

Alex Watts :

It may be that if the matter is going to trial your statement or details have already been passed to the defence

Alex Watts :

But their Solicitor wont necessarily have passed on the details to the Defendant

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

Ok and can i make any kind of requests that they do not?

Alex Watts :

But withdraw your statement and take it from there

Alex Watts :

You can but it would usually be disclosed unless you work for the secret service and its a terrorist offence

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

ok thank you for your help

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-1l3rc5mq- :

no thats fine thanks. I feel the police deliberately misled me but i will just withdraw the statement. thanks

Alex Watts :

Indeed

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, i just wondered can I dispute that this is my agreed statement? It was taken over the telephone, and I asked several questions about how it could be used and was given wrong/misleading answers before agreeing to it. I would never agreed had i been fully aware. Court was never mentioned. I was given the wrong assurances over disclosure of my identity? It doesn't seem to have been recorded.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You cant dispute the statement as such only withdraw it.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So can you tell me what I should say in my withdrawal statement. Obviously they will ask me if the original statement was true and why I am withdrawing it - but the situation is I was given the wrong information in making the statement and I would never have said anything if i were aware of the implications.

I don't want to leave myself open to perverting the course of justice etc.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Just say you won't support the prosedution and you don't want to attend court,
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Thanks so much for your help. One further thing, i am told all statements should end with a line about being willing to attend court and give evidence etc. This was definitely not read to me on the phone so i did not say i agreed to it. The statement is unsigned. Is it evidence if not signed?

To what extent can they use unsigned telephone statements in this way once i withdraw it?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes it should be correct and day that.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

I attended the police station today to withdraw statement. The officer had already typed out a statement for me to sign. It said i'd witnessed the incident, that I had made clear to the officers that I wished to remain anonymous and for my details not to be disclosed. It said I withdrew my support for prosecution, was not willing to attend court, and that doing so and being identified would significantly impact my life as it would cause trouble in my neighbourhood. Also that i'd made the decision of my own free will.

He said i would probably hear no more about it now but i could be called - but that even then they cannot make me actually give evidence so what would be the point. He said without me its just one persons word against another and the case will now probably come to nothing.

He didn't show me the original telephone statement (unsigned) but did tell me that both that statement and this have a chequered "restricted" band across the top so they are not disclosed to the defendant. They didn't give me copies of the statements.

My question is does this sound ok to you, or have they totally stitched me up by writing it in a way that gets them a summons, since I had not signed to witnessing anything before? Also is what they are saying about "Restricted" against a chequered background correct?

It's a common assault charge at a magistrates court

(I will rate this to finish so you get credit again)

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes it all sounds ok.
Alex

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