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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been arrested but not charged with common assault n

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I have been arrested but not charged with common assault n my 11 year old daughter. I am currently on bail. She claimed I struck her several times and has one bruise which was caused by earlier horse play with her friends and adults whilst throwing each other in the paddling pool. I have many more injuries inclding bruises to my feet where she stamped on them, bruises on my leg where she kicked me, bruises on my arm where I tried to stop her attacking me and scratch marks to my face where she tried to get to my eyes. I am claiming self-defence. The police claim I was intoxicated (no breathalyser) but actually I was simply enraged and hysterical. My GP has contacted the police to say that this is not a case of child abuse and that from my injuries I clearly came off worse and that my daughter is a very difficult character. Social services placed my children with their father as my bail conditions say I cannot see them but they have seen me with my three younger children (my eldest daughter refused to see me) and said that it is clear that they adore me and I them. I am terrified that they will not NFA this but charge me and I will lose my job as a teacher
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Customer: I need a barrister

How can I help with this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to know, based on the information above, whether the police are likely to NFA or charge me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you think is the likely outcome?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I have an answer please?

I am not sure I can really assess what the outcome is in this forum.

It depends on the facts and the evidence.

I have no way of assessing that. I haven't had full vision of the case.

There is certainly a risk of charge although not for child cruelty.

They will charge with common assault if anything at all.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about my defence of self-defence and the GP evidence - does that not count? Isn't it more likely to be NFA?

This isn't self defence.

Self defence is not going to succeed against an 11 year old child anyway.

But you are not saying self defence. You are saying this was horseplay.

No, it isn't particularly likely that this would be an NFA actually.

The only reason it might be is that public interest considerations in bringing a case of this kind.

Evidentially there is certainly enough to charge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, there was earlier horse-play during the day and then, when everyone had left, my daughter and I got into a huge screaming match and she attacked me - I was trying to protect myself. A neighbour heard us screaming and came round and got her and then called the police. I did not ever strike her at all - I sustained the injuries from her attack.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to ahve to put my 11 year old child through court as if I am charged I will plead not guilty.

Yes, and that was the cause of the injury which is the subject of the charge?

If you have told the police this then evidentially I would expect a charge.

The only reason they may not is the public interest considerations.

They should consider carefully the merits of making an 11 year old child give evidence at all and, in particular, against a parent.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
she said I struck her and she had a slight bruise but I have several witnesses who will state that the horse-play, fighting and throwing each other in the pool. My GP will attend to defend me as will the witnesses but the whole thing is awful and i just want my children back
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How is ther enough evidence to bring a charge? She cannot prove I hit her

She says you did and, in fact, you accept using some violence but say it was in self defence which is always fairly difficult to do against a child.

To be wholly honest, evidentially it is fairly overwhelming.

I really would think carefully before you call witnesses who describe that type of horseplay. I haven't had vision of this case properly but it would appear to me that could be the subject of another charge as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't say I used any violence - only that I was pushing her arms and legs away from me to prevent her hitting and kicking me.

Yes, and she says you did and has an injury.

That is how assaults are always brought.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wasn't involved in the horseplay or playfighting - that was her and her friends
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My solicitor thinks that it is 50:50 whether they will charge me or not.

And children do have injuries all the time for innocent reasons.

I think your solicitor is probably thinking of the public interest considerations that I have already covered above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about the issue that they think I was intoxicated does that have some bearing on the case

Not really.

It doesn't matter whether you were or weren't.

They dont need a breathalyser to prove that anyway. They can just rely on the usual evidence - unsteady on feet, smelling of intoxicating liquor, eyes glazed etc.

Although they should not as it is of no consequence.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They didn't charge me after interview but released me on bail for 3 weeks while they investigate. I am absolutley terrified. My GP spoke to them and clearly stated that this was not child abuse and that this could have serious consequences for my job as a teacher and that my daughter is a very difficult character. Other witnesses will be able to say that they thought, on earlier dates, that she was going to attack them. Should I have stood there and let her assault me? I didn;t hit her - I was protecting myself

Yes, but you are confusing 'a child protection issue', which is all a GP can comment upon, with the offence of common assault.

I really don't think you are likely to succeed with self defence. 11 year olds may have tantrums but they do not warrant a response in self defence.

Lawful castigation might be better.

However, public interest is better still.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I use lawful castigation or public interest. My 11 year old is my height and weight and very aggressive. My GP logged last year that I would need some help with her

If they charge you then you can defend on that basis depending on what you have said in interview.

Public interest is a matter for CPS to consider and there is nothing you can do to make that more pressing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't understand why evidentially it is overwhelming. She had one slight bruise that was sustained from earlier physical play with her friends and then she refused to go to bed and that's how the argument started. She then attacked me and I tried to stop her but I didn't use violence or hit her. I was screaming at her to stop and she was screaming back at me - that's how the neighbour came round but it was just me and her at the time of the incident
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Surely there is reasonable doubt as to whether I assaulted her - she assaulted me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My solicitor said that the prosecution (if there is one) would have to prove it wasn't self-defence and that I have asked social services for help with her

I'm really sorry but I'm not going to be able to tell you that there is not enough evidence to charge.

She says you assaulted her and has an injury. That is the basis of most charges of common assault.

Rapes are charged on even less evidence usually.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But I have explained her injury to them

Yes, sometimes people do that and they are disbelieved.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why didn't they charge me straight after interview if that is enough evidence?

Because they are investigating other evidence, taking CPS advice and considering public interest.

It is rare that charges are immediate these days really.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In your professional opinion - what is likely to happen?

I am not sure I can really assess what the outcome is in this forum.

The only reason it might be is that public interest considerations in bringing a case of this kind.

Evidentially there is certainly enough to charge.

I'm really sorry but there is just no other answer.

Yes, they could charge. They may not for the reasons above.

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