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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69527
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Would like some advice please, I had a domestic argument

Customer Question

Hello would like some advice please,
I had a domestic argument with my wife on 21/08/15 which lead to my arrest and to me being charged with criminal damaged due to damage being caused to my front door due to my wife locking me out of our home which is on a joint mortgage,my wife and step son made statements to police stating I caused the damage and that they didn't want me allowed to re-enter our house because they feared I was so angry I may cause harm to them,I now have bail conditions not to approach or talk to my wife or step son and I am only allowed to enter my town if I make a prearranged appointment to visit my 6 year old daughter away from our house until my court date on the 9th September.
Things have since calmed down and my wife has telephoned my father saying she would be willing to withdraw her statement along with my 23 year old step son doing the same,but my wife tells my father that police have told her withdrawing both statements will not help me as they will still prosecute me in court.
I admitted to police that I caused the damage by banging on the door but that the damage that occurred was accidental and not with intent.
If I have to appear in court and plead not guilty ,if my wife and step son were to withdraw their statements and refused to appear in court could the police still convict me of this offence.
Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello
Thank you for your question.
The Crown Prosecution Service take over the case on behalf of the Crown - It could quite well be that they decide to continue with the prosecution even if your wife and step son want to withdraw.
It is however often the case that the case won't be tried and considered as 'no case to answer' if no evidence is offered.
Kind Regards
Caroline
Please rate positively - thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I'm afraid the answer above is incorrect. I am a criminal specialist.
Has she called the police before please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,I have never had any police involvement before,I am being prosecuted in a magistrates court not crown court,thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, police have never had any involvement with us before,it is a magistrates court I have to attend and not a crown court.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, of course you are. Criminal damage of the kind you describe is summary only so can only be tried in the Magistrate.
The difficulty you have here is twofold.
Firstly there is a policy currently of prosecuting in domestic circumstances when complainants withdraw and summons them if needed. That has been in place for several years. There are lots of reasons for it with which I will not bore you.
Secondly, I'm afraid you have made statements contrary to interest in the offence. I realise that you say that you didn't intend to cause the damage but criminal damage can be upon a reckless basis and you accept banging on the door.
It would be possible to argue that you were banging to regain entry into a house where you were entitled to be and were excluded. It is difficult to tell from what you say and obviously I haven't seen your interview.
If you do defend on that basis the overall circumstances will be considered but they will summons her. Whether she answers the summons is another matter but it would be unrealistic to expect they won't. It could happen but it is not likely and you cannot rely on it.
Another option is get your solicitor to ask the police if they would still consider a caution. That is fairly unusual as well since you have been charged and so within CPS remit. I don't generally ever advise that because cautions do have an impact upon people but if you are at risk of conviction at court.
It depends really what you did say in interview. If you can give me more information on that then I might be able to offer more.
A better option is to ask your solicitor who should have notes from the rep who attended with you in interview. I suppose you didn't refuse the offer of a solicitor that the police made?
Also, please do not return her calls. I realise she may be encouraging it but you are on bail not her and you are at risk of Bail Act offences.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo
In the interview I told police my wife had left her keys on the inside of the door so that I could not enter the house using my keys and that I did not intend forcing entry only to make enough noise that she would open the door the result of hitting on the door too hard caused damage.
I did refuse the right to a solicitor being present as I really didn't feel I needed one present.
So just to clarify wether my wife and step son are willing to withdraw their statements or not I would still be likely to to charged with this offence.
Thank you for any advice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Do you think she will ignore a summons if they do use one?
Are you charged already ? You have a court date?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think she would go to court and yes I am charged, i do have a court date.
My wife has explained to my father that she regrets things getting to this point for us and that she wants us to resolve our problem,my main worry is that being an s.i.a licensed security officer I would loos my job because of a conviction so I would obviously like to avoid being convicted of an offence.
Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, well if she doesn't want you prosecuted she can achieve that by not calling the police! Bit of joined up thinking avoids situations like this.
The only way to avoid a conviction is to defend on the basis that you were excluded and so entitled to gain entry. Actually her statement probably doesn't currently cover that particular point so they may need a second statement which they can always refuse.
They probably will summons her though. Realistically. Unless they are persuaded to depart with their whole policy which might happen but you cannot rely on it.
Women do regularly just ignore summonses but whether she will or not is another matter.
The trouble with summonsing is that it really only frightens the law abiding. Young ladies who do this type of thing all the time know exactly how far the Crown will go and how to manipulate them.
I'm happy to continue with this but please remember to leave feedback for my answer.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69527
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Just to add, obviously you can only defend on this basis if this is the truth but it seems to be what you are saying above.

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