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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband and I had a stupid row which ended up with us both

Customer Question

My husband and I had a stupid row which ended up with us both sustaining slight injuries. The police were called and my husband was arrested for common assault.
He had a DVPO against him for 28 days which I did not agree with.
the DVPO ran out yesterday (3rd Feb 2015).
Both myself and my husband desperately want to reconcile our relationship for both ourselves and our two young children, one of which is disabled.
We were under the impression that once the DVPO had expired that we could then communicate with each other and reconcile our relationship.
I attended court yesterday to support my husband, but was then told that because his bail conditions had not been changed that can now not communicate until after May 15th when he has to appear at the magistrates court again to here the outcome.
I was not made aware of his bail conditions and desperately want them changed.
Please can you advise which way I should proceed now to try and get the bail conditions changed or at least make my feelings aware that I am not happy with this situation.
His solicitor advised that if I maybe got a solicitor to write a letter to my husbands brief about wanting the conditions changed or even scrapped then that may help.
I have even printed a retraction statement with the police that totally vindicated my husband from what happened.
The main cause of the argument was caused by me but I feel that my husband is taking all the blame and this is not fair.
If you could get back to me I would be grateful.
if you need to email me, my email address is:-
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

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

Do you mean that you want police to drop charges?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I really would like them to drop the charges if possible, can they do this?

the police have been totally unhelpful in discussing anything with me.

If they cant drop the charges, then can they at least alter the bail conditions so that my husband and I can communicate with each other and start to reconcile our relationship.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, but they won't.
Have you done this before?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no, this is his very first offence. he has never been in trouble with police in his life.

He has only been charged with the lowest form of common assault.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
It is not that simple I'm afraid.
When you say you have retracted, have you done it already? If not, please do not.
If you have then did you say that what you said was untrue ? Or just that you don't want to proceed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have already retracted.

I feel that because I suffer with mental health issues I was not of sound mind when I made my original statement.

therefore I made a new statement and I am now being told that the CPS may not accept my new statement.

I had also been drinking very heavily on the evening of the assault.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. But did you say it was false? It is really important.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I said that a lot of it was untrue in the way I had stated in my original statement. and that's why I felt I needed to go in and make a new statement to state the true way it actually occurred.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Why did you make untrue statements then?
Can you give examples please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I wasn't in a clear state of mind and I was being pressured by other people to make a statement.

because I wasn't on my medication and wasn't of sound mind the way things were interpreted that I said was not the true way it happened.

hence the retraction statement and my new statement.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. This is really important.
I need to know what you said that was untrue?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

in my original statement I said he punched me in the face. in actual fact he went to push me away and as I ducked my head down his hand connected with my jaw causing bruising.

I also said he punched me in the chest when in fact he only pushed me hard to get me away from him.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Has anybody warned you of the risks of that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No why?

The police said that I was brave to come forward and admit my part in the incident.

But no one seems to be taking me seriously in what I'm saying and the police aren't really helping in getting this sorted.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, that is because you have admitted perverting the course of justice. If you had posted earlier I would never have suggested that.
The difficulty that you have here is that you have admitted lying. That is perverting the course of justice. This will go one of three ways. Either they will believe you and drop the case against him. That is wonderful if it happens but it probably won't. If that does happen they could charge you with perverting for which you will be going to prison I'm afraid. The second is that they will disbelieve you and prosecute him and summons you. The third is that they will believe you, drop the case against him and take no action against you.
The short answer is that you cannot just not press charges but there are things that you can do about this.
If you have made a statement then the case is no longer yours. A statement is just evidence like any other. It does not have to be in written form. Even a oral declaration to a police officer is evidence. Once evidence is obtained by the Crown you cannot withdraw it from them.
What you can do is tell the prosecution that you don't want to support any further prosecution. This is where the complication lies.
I realise that the background to this has nothing to do with you and is not of your creation but it might help you to understand the position.
Traditionally when complainants said that they were reluctant the prosecution was dropped. That has encouraged abuse from some sections of society.
Sadly, genuine victims of domestic abuse are not the only people who do call the police to domestic incidents. Some people, and it's not only women, seem to use the police as a mediation service and call them to almost every argument in the house. Also, some people make reports to the police knowing that they never intended to give evidence but just to get their partner out of the house for the evening.
This has led to understandable frustration amongst police officers. To deal with that they have turned to a policy of summonsing a reluctant witness.
They do not summons in every case. It's fair to say that sometimes people are allowed to withdraw. On the face of it, there would appear to be a justification for withdrawing here.
However, there are some CPS reviewers who are militant, or just fail to consider the case properly, and will summons in circumstances where they should not.
If they do summons then you will have to think about what you want to do. Failing to answer a summons is a contempt of court in principle although it would not be prosecuted. I've only ever seen one prosecution for contempt arising from failing to answer a summons and that involved a person who has been a real drain on police resources.
What they might do is issue a witness warrant for your arrest to put you before the court to give evidence. There is about a 1% chance of that happening. That is preserved for people who are very well known to the constabulary.
In any event, there is a bit of a debate over whether or not attending court and refusing to give evidence amounts to a contempt. I prosecute fairly regularly and if a witness just refuses to go into the witness box I have no means of forcing them to do so.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.