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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I need some help with understanding what to expect when

Customer Question

Hi I need some help with understanding what to expect when a case has been referred to the magistrates court from the CPS.
The case is for child abuse if that helps narrow down an expert
Can you let me know if you need additional information to assign to an expert please?
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 : What is it you would like to know please?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : Hi Alex, we spoke about a month ago regarding the CPS and how to progress a case quickly. your advice was really helpful and at least the case has now progressed having been in the system for 8 months This is the same case. My friend has now been charged with 2 accounts of sexual assault of a person under 13. 1 a kiss and the second a cuddle where a part of his body touched her leg for 30 seconds, He does not believe these incidents occurred and will therefore be pleading not guilty when the case goes to the magistrates court. The girl is now 14 and these events are alleged to have happened sometime between 2006 and 2008. As this is a case of 1 witness statement with no evidence, I am trying to understand what may happen at the magistrates court which is the next step. His solicitor has said that there is a chance it will be thrown back to the CPS as there isn't enough evidence, I'm trying to understand what the best and worst case scenarios are for this type of situation and what we may expect to happen as it appears to be a case of he said she said. My friend is struggling emotionally with this whole situation and therefore has asked me to reach out for help
Alex Watts : Well it's a hard one. If he pleads not guilty then it will go off for trial.
Alex Watts : The magistrates court will decide whether they can hear it or the crown court.
Alex Watts : In terms of what will happen with the case the court won't throw it back at the cps.
Alex Watts : The solicitor for the defendant at trial can make a submission saying there is no case to answer.
Alex Watts : The court will consider that after the proseuction witnesses have given evidence.
Alex Watts : best case, the case is dropped. Worst case, he is convicted
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : My undetstanding was the magistrates court can't make the call on this as anything to do with a minor has to go to crown? Is it possible that they can close it down at magistrates after all?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : How would the submission saying there is no case to answer work? what
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : sorry - hit return - what would that look like?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : His solicitor mentioned something about a percentage rate for successful prosecution and whether the prosecution felt they could be successful in achieving a win?
Alex Watts : Yes if it's a minor its crown only.
Alex Watts : Its just a submission made by the defendnat
Alex Watts : the success rate in crown at prosecutions are 33%
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : So why does it got to the magistrates first? Is there any possibility of it being thrown out there or is it merely a formality and therefore it will proceed to crown no matter what?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : the percentage rate conversation with his solicitor was along the lines of if the prosecuting barrister believes there is a more than 52% change of conviction they will proceed?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : sorry chance of conviction...
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : the 33% you mention is that across all cases or specific to these kinds of case?
Alex Watts : All cases start in magistreates court even murders.
Alex Watts : yes if they think it's likely than not they will get a conviction they will chagre.
Alex Watts : one third is all cases in crown court. I can't say about this particular type.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : so just so i'm clear - the case can still be thrown out at the magistrates court say if he makes a submission saying there is no case to answer>
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : or if the prosecution review the case and feel there is little chance of a conviction?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : or will it absolutely proceed to crown from magistrates
Alex Watts : No.
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : and the no case is successfully heard of course
Alex Watts : The case may be thrown out at trial in the crown if he makes a submission of no case.
Alex Watts : the case starts at magistrates and gets sent to to crown where he enters a plea
Alex Watts : Or the prosecution may review and decide not to proceed.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : oh ok so that happens no matter what?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : the magistrates is just a part of the process and therefore he shouldn't expect it to end there>
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : his solicitor gave him the impression it may all just disappear at magistrates which is worrying compared to what you're saying
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : I know you don't have access to the facts of the case but as an observer there appears to be little evidence and therefore I'm surprised it's proceeding. What would your thoughts be with something so old - 5-8 years ago...
Alex Watts : Magistrates part of the process yes.
Alex Watts : It would be unfair for me to give a view as I have not seen all the evidence.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : Sorry wasn't asking for specifics but more in general when it is purely based on witness statements from so long ago... My he police investigator has sAid it is the most trivial case he has worked in 15 years
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : so the case will absolutely proceed to crown. Nothing will stop it at the magistrate stage?
Alex Watts : Nothing will stop the case at magistrates court.
Alex Watts : But if there are just historic statements, then indeed it is harder to prove.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : Can you advise the type of timescales for a crown date? He is in the Surrey area. Also, if guilty, the type of sentence? Bearing in mind we are talking 2 instances over a 2 year period where he was in a relationship with her mother and therefore seeing her weekly...
Alex Watts : Timescale it really depends on how busy they are. It could be a few months.
Alex Watts : If guilty then it's hard to say again. Without seeing the evicence it may be a couple of years.
Alex Watts : Does that clairfy?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : And magistrate can't kick it out on grounds of lack of evidence?.
Alex Watts : No. If it's sent to crown magistrates court is procedure only.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : For this offence, it is listed on the cps website as mode of trial either way. Does that mean it could be handled solely at the magistrates court?
Alex Watts : Yes magistrates or crown
Alex Watts : Doea that help?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : No not really. Does that mean it COULD get resolved at magistrates court after all?
Alex Watts : Yes. If the CPS say it is suitable for the Magistrates it will stay there.
Alex Watts : The same procedure is followed at trial ie the half time submission of no case to answer.
Alex Watts : Or if it is sent to the Crown court then again the same process is followed.
Alex Watts : but the magistrates or crown won't throw it out before trial because of lack of evidence, it is only the cps that can make that decision
Alex Watts : The court can only throw out at half time.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : Can you confirm what half time is? I assume as there is a magistrates court date now it won't be thrown out for lack if evidence?
Alex Watts : That is after the prosecution evidence as we discussed above.
Alex Watts : yes, it won't be thrown out now because of lack of evidence. That can only happen at trial.
JACUSTOMER-d7i7tzxt- : So prosecution give their evidence and then potentially the defence enters a 'no case to answer' motion?
Alex Watts : Yes.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Alex Watts :

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Alex Watts :

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