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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 72701
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been asked to attend court as a witness to a crime

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I have been asked to attend court as a witness to a crime that I wasn't even present at. I gave a statement to the police and was asked if I was "willing to attend court" I said No as I suffer from high anxiety, have social interaction issues and have a poor memory which is recorded at my place of work. I was coaxed into saying I would go as I was told "you probably won't be required" this, I have since learned seems to be a common tactic used when taking statements. I mistakenly took the phrase 'willing to go' as "to show good willing' and I am contesting the fact that as an innocent bystander I'm required to attend by law, other people were also witnesses and gave more relevant information than I did but are not being called up. I contacted the courts back in April via an Email and phone call, I was advise on the phone if I didn't go that "he'd probably get away with it" what happened to innocent until proven guilty? I am tempted to withdraw my statement and adamantly refuse to go.
What are my rights?

Hi - can you give me the background to this please - what was the crime and anything else relevant

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jo, I attended a house/cocktail party back in December with my nephew and left at around 2:15am. At some point after we had left an incident occurred of a sexual nature (I've not been given any details of what actually happened so don't know) Approx 4 hours previously I had witnessed the accused and "victim" holding hands together on the sofa, he was drunkenly going for a cuddle and she shrugged him off, at no point did she seem in any way distressed, they were laughing together and this didn't seem like anything serious, both parties where intoxicated. I only mentioned this to the police as this was the only physical contact I saw between the two. From what little information I have received it appears the times she claims the incident occurred don't add up and she has since changed her statement.
What further information could I give than I already have?
Can my statement not be read out in court without the need for me to attend?

Are you a witness for the Crown?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Initially it went to magistrates with a plead of not guilty. Sorry should have mentioned that

yes, but what did you say in your statement?

Why do the prosecution want you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In my statement I mentioned the incident of them holding hands and how they were interacting as described. I then gave them examples of the accused behaviour when intoxicated. These examples were from several years ago (approx 15 to 20) nothing of a sexual nature was implied in any way. I don't know the claimant very well as have only met her a few times through social events over the recent years but wasn't questioned too much in regards ***** *****
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know why the prosecution want me. I have said that my statement may be used. I just don't want to get involved and have to go through the stress and anxiety, my brother attended as a witness and said it was awful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my brother attended a separate court case just to clarify)

On the face of it, you are a defence witness.

In any event, neither party will be interested in your anxiety I'm afraid.

Once you make a statement to the police it can be used by either side and unless your evidence is agreed they will need you to give evidence in court.

They will only summons you if you refuse.

There are special measures that you can use if you are nervous about giving evidence.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What special measures are there?

Realistically probably screens.

It depends on your issues and by whom you are called.

I'm happy to continue with this but please rate my answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fact I suffer from having poor memory problems could be a factor in me not having to attend, but thankyou for your advice.


Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

I'm afraid they will not have any interest in your memory problems.

They can always put your original statement to you.