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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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My 10 year old son with autism was verbally abused and

Resolved Question:

Hi, my 10 year old son with autism was verbally abused and threatened to be assulted at a childrens play park by a 25 year old woman. The same woman has verbally abused him in the past and given "a stern warning" by police but i am wondering how many witnesses if any there needs to be to have her charged this time and what could she be charged with?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I'm happy to help with your question today.
Is there any reason for this woman's behaviour?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Her son was throwing stones and being "annoying" when my son and his friends were playing football so my son said to him "go away you dick" (sorry about language but thats what he said. The boy told his mum and she went to the park to shout abuse and threaten my son.

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
The police have to decide whether a criminal offence has been committed.
There is no requirement to have a minimum number of witnesses but obviously the more witnesses there are to an incident then the more likely is that the person would be prosecuted (and most likely convicted).
Shouting abuse and threatening another person in public is an offence under the Public Order Act - she could be prosecuted for disorderly conduct or threatening behaviour.
She could also be prosecuted for harassment.
If she accepts that she did shout abuse at your son the police might decide, if she has no criminal record, to give her a formal warning rather than take her to court - bearing in mind that a prosecution costs time and money.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she has loads of other convictions including breach of the peace, assult and biting a child. formal warnings dont seem to stop her so i was hoping she would be charged this time. would my son have to go to court i order for her to be charged?

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
It really depends on whether the police think they have enough evidence to charge the woman with an offence.
If she is charged then she would certainly have to attend court and if she pleads not guilty then there will be a trial at which your son would give evidence.
However, a child is entitled automatically to 'special measures' which means that if he did have to give evidence then he could do so via television link. This means that he could give his account of the incident without having to be in the court room - and he would only be able to see the lawyers.
Whilst your son doesn't have to go court, his statement by itself might not be enough if there is a trial.
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