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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69535
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Jo,I wonder if you could help with a question?My

Customer Question

Hi Jo,
I wonder if you could help with a question?
My wife suffered from mental health issues and sadly and unexpectedly committed suicide in April 2013. Although she left no note she did leave verbal accusations with her executors that I had committed mortgage fraud and stolen money from her accounts. None of this is true. The executors filed a complaint with the police and the case is going to court later this year. I will defend the charge and plead not guilty.
The evidence is partially based on a handwriting expert stating that my wife's signature a mortgage application and a subsequent extension to the mortgage were copied from her driving licence. Again this is something I did not do. Similarly my wife claims I transferred £80k from her bank account to mine. She transferred this by ebank for a business interest.
As all of the initial claims of wrong doing come from the comments from my wife before her death I feel helpless in being unable to question her in court. I know the crown effectively take up the side of my wife as she is not alive to represent her case, but are my Human Rights being violated under Article 6 of ECHR as I am entitled to question witnesses, the principal one, my wife, obviously who I am not able to call? Similarly, could this be construed as an abuse of process?
I do have representation but wanted to explore this question before we formerly engage in the new year.
Many thanks.
Chris.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Does the evidence come solely from your wife?
Surely there is a paper trail?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo,

Many thanks for your reply.

Yes, the evidence comes solely from my wife who relayed her accusations verbally to her executors before she died,

The paper trail as such is the mortgage application and an extension to that which the prosecution are claiming (with the testimony of an expert), were copied from my wife's driving licence.

In this regard, I gave my wife both these documents which were signed by her in my absence and without witnesses so I have no idea what she used to sign them with.

Regards,

Chris.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Ok.
They can apply to read her evidence hearsay on the basis that she is dead but the downside of hearsay evidence is that is carries very little weight. If there is nothing else to support this at all then it would not be enough to convict.
I cannot see an abuse of process argument or an HRA one. The CJA has been with us for many years and the common law hearsay rules existed before that. Neither have been subject to a declaration of incompatibility with the HRA.
Hearsay has been quite heavily considered in the cases of Riat and Horncastle and even where it is allowed judges directions are to the effect that it carries little weight.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69535
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jo,

That's very helpful indeed. Many thanks for your advice.

Kind regards,

Chris

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.

All the best.

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