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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi there. I hope you can give me some advice please. I

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Hi there.
I hope you can give me some advice please.

I know someone who has been accused of abuse of older person in a care home. The allegations were made by their colleagues. These colleagues are saying that the worker has slapped the older person without mental capacity on several occasions and they claim to be a direct witnesses to this (1 at a time on several different occasions).

The alleged suspect has been arrested and interviewed by the police and during the interview they were given no dates or times whatsoever as to when these incidents were supposed to happen... The allegations were "back in October", sometime "in March", "few weeks before your suspension" - the dates and times were not specified at all so the alleged suspect can't really even check to make sure that they have even worked with these "witnesses" when the alleged incidents were supposed to occur. How can one defend themselves if basic facts are not stated (no dates or times)?

The alleged suspect feels that their colleagues want to get them in trouble because of things that have gone on in the past as the alleged suspect has reported some of them to their line manager for various issues. The alleged suspect also recently told their colleagues that they have applied for other jobs and want to leave - the allegations against them were made less than a week after... The alleged suspect also complained about some of the staff only week or so before the allegations against them were made...

The alleged suspect is maintaining their innocence and made this also clear in their statement to the police but they are obviously worried that they might be charged because it's their word against more other staff...

Could you please let me know what would the best thing to do be at this point in time? The police investigation is not finished yet and the alleged suspect has received a bail record (crime-delayed charge restricted) and has a date in the future to go back to the police.

Thank you

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

I'm not sure what you want to do about this? What did you want to know about this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo.

Thanks for getting back to me.


I woukd like to know what are the chances of the suspect being prosecuted and whether thet should appoint a solicitor at this stage - the police investigation is not quite finished.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was also wandering how does it work when somoene makes an allegation but don't give exact date or time of the alleged incident... Would such accusations pass the evidential stage test with the prosecutors?


How can one defend themselves when they cant even be certain that they were at the crime scene when the crime was supposed to happen?


In this particular case the alleged victim does not have mental capacity to give statement due to extremely poor memory...

Obviously I will not know whether they will be prosecuted or not. It depends on the quality of the evidence and I have no vision of that.

However, offences are certainly regularly prosecuted where no specific time or date can be found. That is what a stale offence is generally.

Similarly, how you defend yourself depends on the facts of the case and your defence. If a person says they cannot remember an event that they would remember if it had happened then the defence is just a complete denial.

The time to get a solicitor would have been at the initial interview. That is where the evidence is gathered and most of the damage done or limited. If that has taken place then its too late to do anything about that but it is a good idea to get a solicitor to deal with anything arising from here on.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Jo.

Going forward, what sort of solicitor would you suggest the defendant appoints? Should they be looking for a particular area of expertise, relevant experience, etc...


Also could you just explain to me what the quality of evidence is? So far in this case the only evidence are the statements from the defendant's colleagues.


Could the defence be based on the denail and claiming that the witnesses made their allegation up as part of revange?

If this is a police investigation then any criminal specialist will be able to help. There is no particular area of specialism. I used to be a police station advisor before I went to the Bar and you never know what you are facing when you walk through the door of a police station so everybody has to do everything.

Quality of evidence basically just comes down to whether or not the witnesses are credible. A large number of witnesses doesn't mean that the evidence is improved upon necessarily although they can corroborate each other by volume. The defence to corroboration by volume is usually collusion between the witnesses even indirectly.

Yes, the defence can allege revenge. Usually allegations are made for revenge. Even truthful allegations are sometimes ones that witnesses would never have thought of reporting if they weren't given a grievance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

Do you think that the police will now probe the witnesses for credibility following the defendants statement which is totally contrary to the allegations and the defendant told the police that they feel that the allegations were made up as part of revenge.

Or do the police not care and will just give the whole file to the prosecution for a review and decision whether to charge or not...

Yes, they could take further statements from them. I would not normally have advised a full comment interview in a situation like this because the police will go back to them and take further statements and they will tailor their allegations to the information that was given in interview.

Obviously thats worse case scenario. The police are aware that people do use them to gain revenge.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh dear.


It's a shame that the defendant did not ask for a solicitor to be present at the police interview.


I suppose that if further interviewing by police will take place then having a solicitor there is a must?


Would you advise to use the free statutory solicitor for the next police interview (if there is another interview) or appoint someone else now and discuss all that's gone on untill now with them and ask them to attend the interview if needed.

Yes, although he might not have been given that advice anyway. Some solicitors are paranoid about avoiding adverse inferences in silence at the police station. Its all a judgment call. It is just high risk but it might pay off.

Do not be interviewed without a solicitor. Solicitors cannot control what you say but they do tell you whether you should be saying anything at all.

Yes, the duty solicitor is fine. All criminal firms have duty solicitors. That is where the work comes from. You can book one in advance though.
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