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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have a friend (aged 60) who has been given a 10-year sentence

Customer Question

We have a friend (aged 60) who has been given a 10-year sentence for sexually abusing his son who was in his early teens at the time. For whatever reason, the son is lying and our friend has many examples of conflicting evidence which the court did not hear, apparently due to time constraints. Anyway, he feels he has many grounds for appeal and would do so but cannot raise the funds required. He has nothing as all his resources went into refurbishing a house in Spain with a view to opening a B&B. He is currently being treated very badly in prison, although he is a model prisoner as witnessed by many of the officers on his wing. Two questions: is there any charity or source of funding who could help him go to Appeal? And, who to whom should he address his concerns about his treatment if his approach to the Director of the prison (Ryehill, Rugby) hasn't been successful. There is more, but for now ....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What are the grounds?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, and thank you for responding. I have had to ask the prisoner's wife for details and this is what she has said:

'I have just spoken to ***** and he is going to write all the conflicting stuff out and send it to me ASAP. If he sends it on Monday I should have it by Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. I know of quite a bit but not everything. ***** has been finding more when he cross-references statements. Each statement on its own sounds fine (mostly, but even within statements from the same person there are inconsistencies) but when you look at 2 different ones describing the same thing there are glaring discrepancies. Some, the police might not have noticed, others they ignored, and yet others were changed when it came to what the people said in court. Likewise, if there was going to be evidence against something said in a statement then the witness who had said it in their statement just wasn’t asked that in court, so they didn’t have to lie on the witness stand'.

She thinks it might be Thursday next when she receives the full dossier. So may I get in touch then and send you the full details?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, fine.
Do bear in mind though that inconsistencies in the statement are not really an issue now.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well, we'll see what the issues are. I cannot believe that an inconsistency, or several inconsistencies, which were not aired at the trial, should become irrelevant over time. They surely prove that somebody wasn't sure of their story. But don't bother to reply to this. If I may, I'll get back to you when we see exactly what the issues are. Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It isn't the passing of time.
It is the fact that this isn't fresh evidence if it was in the origina S9 statement.
Sometimes jurors do accept inconsistencies. Sometimes they are irrelevant. Sometimes they are down to errors in the dictation of statements. Sometimes they are just mistakes.
It wouldn't have been ignored due to time constraints. That is just not really a consideration. It was probably ignored because it was not admissible or tactically a dangerous or weak point. Difficult to say without knowing what they were.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, we'll see. He is working on it! Please bear with us!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, no problem.
Come back when you like.
There might be another ground of appeal.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello. I'm sorry I cannot rate your service yet my question hasn't yet been answered. We have to see if the convicted person can give us some examples of the conflicting evidence so that you can tell us if it is worth pursuing. My actual question was: 'can a convicted person who knows he is innocent go to appeal if he is penniless?'. As you asked the question: 'what are the grounds?', I have gone down the route of asking him to respond to this. As he is on 'basic' at present, (another story, but let's leave that one for now) he cannot use internet and his evidence will have to be posted to his wife in Spain and she will email me when she receives it. I am trying to respond to the question you asked, but as I am only an intermediate (a friend who has enough funds to pay 'Just Answer'), it is a little complicated. Are you able to wait until we have the answer to the question you asked?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, or any other specific complaint that we can assess to see if it is a ground if appeal.
There is no urgency. Come back when you can.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just want I wanted to hear. Thanks so much Jo. Much appreciated. And I'll get back when I have the information we need. My name is ***** ***** the way. N

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
All the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The service is now saying that you have answered my question and I haven't even asked it yet because you asked for more info. I now have that info, but because I only have one question, I want it to be the right one. You and I both agreed that we could wait until we had the information we need. What you don't know is that he has to send all info by mail from Spain and then his wife has to copy it to forward to me electronically. I am digesting all this gradually, but do have other things to do! So I hope you will be able to keep the channels open until I have formulated the question and you have answered it. Are you OK with this?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can come back after rating in any event. People do come back with follow ups months after rating.
I never use the site from your side so not sure what you are seeing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, we'll ignore what they are saying. I'll continue this vast amount of information we have been sent and get back to you as soon as I can. Nikky

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.