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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was charged with minor assault for slapping my ex nearest

Customer Question

I was charged with minor assault for slapping my ex nearest friend (A) who had an affair with my partner and then got together with him. This was in Sweden.

My defence lawyer Knew the woman (A) and had worked at the same district court house in Northern sweden. This concerns me, and although he maintains that the outcome of the court case was a good as it could have been, I do think that my defence lawyer should have been familiar, in any way, professionally or personally with (A).

With no lawyer present at the police interview,(I was offered a lawyer, but i was not functioning properly as my circumstances were extremely pressed and i was ill.  I had sent my 12 yr old daughter away, as i couldn't cope) The police were aware of this. I was frightened, not fluent in swedish and i told the truth to the police, admitting that I had slapped 'A', but the circumstances were extreme.

I told them about the abuse, and assaults for my ex partner, and that he had assaulted me on the same afternoon, shortly after i had slapped (A).  I really did not understand that this would mean a court case! A prevention order, perhaps, and 'mediation' for my possessions to be returned.  I was suffering from PTS and even had a letter from my psychiatrist to confirm this fact (this letter was given to the judge who read it out in court).

My ex withholding many of my possessions, he had abused me physically and mentally for 3 yrs. The worst incident being near asphyxiation, when he forced my head into an arm lock, twice, threw me 2 meters over a floor and then literally hunted me down as i was crawling on my hands and knees across a field to try to get to safety.

In the condition I was in, I was in no fit state to face any of this, but I was not given a qualified police officer to support me at the time. ( I mean a police officer trained to deal with victims of abuse) I told the police about the abuse, but did not feel strong enough to make a full statement at the time. they told me i could do this later. I was not 'encouraged, nor properly supported to do this, not by by lawyer, nor by the police. 1 week before travelling from England to N Sweden for the court case, my ex tracked me down and phoned 18 time to the house where I was saying with friends. 5 of these phone calls were recorded on my phone, and witnessed by 2 independent witnesses. The contents were extremely vulgar and abusive. I played these recordings to my lawyer before proceedings began. My lawyer did not present this to the judge before proceedings and i had to go through the proceedings with my ex partner sat barely 2 meters away, giving evidence against me. My ex was the only witness in court for 'A'S statements. I want to know if my rights have been compromised, and if so, what I can do about it. The court case was in August 2013.

The result of the court case was a conviction for Minor assault 120 days fine and a criminal record for 5 years. this clearly having serous consequences for my career.

In the circumstances, I find this very, very harsh.  i feel my lawyer should have presented the evidence of those harassing phone calls to the judge , prior to proceedings, and i should not have had to go through this experience as a victim of very severe abuse from my ex partner.

when I did, eventually make statements to the police about the abuse. i was given a police officer who could not speak or write in English. My case was 'laid down' by the prosecutor as 'too much time had lapsed'. there seemed to be nothing more I could do about that.

I had no previous convictions prior to this.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law

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