- Do i have to be a witness in court ?
Over the christmas period i was a witness to a mass brawl and stabbing between to rival gangs who both deal drugs i have now been asked by the police to be a witness in court can i say no. Bit worried about reprisals.Posted 9 years ago
If i had been a witness to a innocent person being beaten i would go to court but both these gangs were up for it.footstomperMember
Depends on what you told the police initiallly? Did you make an official statement on what you saw, did you actually tell an officer anything at the scene etc, if yes then they may issue a subpoena if you back out. just go with the flow but on the day develop a severe bout of stomach cramps I doubt they will stop a trial until you get better.Posted 9 years ago
Did you give a statement to the police? If you have then if you refuse to attend they can issue a warrant and arrest you and detain you until taken to court to give evidence. If you thus refuse to give evidence in the witness box then can hold you in contempt of court and recently where I work the Judge sent someone to prison for the night in contempt. The following morning he was brought back before the court and gave evidence.
Remember if you have given a statement and anyone starts making threats/tries to intimdate you then you must contact the police immediatly as it is an offence to intimdate a witness and holds a 10 yr prison sentence, it will also be taken VERY seriously by the court and police.
If you have serious concerns about repurcussions it’s worth speaking to both the OIC (investigating officer for the job) and the witness care service at the court where you will be required to give evidence. The witness care service are there to give you advice and support you in these situations.
Hopes this helps and makes things a little clearer.Posted 9 years agoBigEaredBikerSubscriber
MTFU and perform your civic duty. We (the innocent citizens of the nation) need you (the poor sod in the wrong place at the wrong time) to help put evil doers away. I’m afraid you are failing all of us if you don’t do it.
Now take one for the team and go, if they do happen to come after you let us know and the STW massive will be down with several sets of bombers.
Actually chatting to a mate who is a DS very very very few witnesses get intimidated unless they are actually grassing on their mates.
Good luck!Posted 9 years ago
Big eared what you said about witness intimdation is so true! Gang members hate other gangs members that have “grassed” them up, they don’t tend to go after innocent citizens who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ll be surprised how intelligent some of these gang members are and they are well aware they would get potted for witness intimdaion straight away.Posted 9 years agoMrTallMember
I had to testify against some knob who assaulted me on the Tube in London a few years back. Not a nice experience. I was left outside the courtroom sitting opposite him with no police presence.Posted 9 years ago
His retarded lawyer then tried to say i started the trouble once i was in ‘the dock’. Police had not warned me this would happen at all and were pretty useless tbh.
I can see how most people would easily be put off (my then GF was too frightened to attend) but as the chap was smaller than me and actually came off worse from our ‘tussle’ i had no problems in pursuing him.
He got sent down for 5 months and it turned out he’d been on remand for armed carjacking when he assaulted me!!! Not a nice bloke – just another inner city wannabe gangster idiot. Still, if it hadn’t been for his pimped out ‘Fro he wouldn’t have been traced via DNA after a large clump of it got ripped out during the scuffle. 🙂
I wouldn’t like to testify against a large group unless the police gave me written confirmation that my name and address would be withheld (if that’s possible?). Are you likely to bump into these people again? Ie was this central London or a small town where you’d be recognised?uplinkMember
Withholding names etc. is not easy IIRC
Something about the accused having a right to challenge his accusers – without a name, the defence lawyers would struggle in a lot of casesPosted 9 years ago
So unless it’s a really high profile case or you’re a kid your name will be disclosed way before the trialtheotherjonvSubscriber
I had the same a few years back; witness to a guy being set upon by two thugs outside a football ground. I knew the guy attacked, but wouldn’t call him a friend exactly, they started by kicking the backs of our feet as they walked behind us, I sensed that no reaction was better than being provoked and walked on but he turned round and remonstrated at which point one of them lumped him and they ran off.
He got a good look at the guy, me not but we gave descriptions / statements to the police, who instantly knew who he was. Subsequently were called to a line up and he picked him out whereas i couldn’t. I really though that would be the end but he pleaded not guilty and we were called as witnesses. I couldn’t understand why as I hadn’t really seen him properly and hadn’t picked him from the line up. As a result I thought it pointless attending but the police were adamant right up to the morning of the trial, since he supposedly was going to call his mates as witnesses to say it wasn’t him. Being a magistrates court all witnesses sat in the same waiting room, his mates acting big rather than intimidating particularly, but once they realised we were going through with it I think some of them became less convinced with their own versions of events, and I don’t know how convincing they actually were when they came to give evidence.
In the end he got a suspended sentence and banned from all football grounds, and my ‘mate’ got compensation for his split lip, etc. I didn’t stay for the end of the trial but the police called me later to thank me for attending as it was my evidence that seemed to sway the magistrates, being honest and reliable even though not ‘conclusive’. Without it would have been hard to judge, being essentially one word against another.
So yes, do your duty. You are only intimidated in your own mind, and if that intimidation becomes real, then report that too. otherwise they win, and the culture of intimidation starts to win.Posted 9 years ago
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