Saturday, March 11, 2006

keeping the ODPP honest

The appearance of April 19 will determine whether my case proceeds. In fact, each new court date will determine whether the case proceeds, because, as the prosecution policy states, ‘there is a continuing obligation to assess the evidence as the matter proceeds’ [my emphasis].

There’s a key statement in this policy which provides an opening to seek justice from the DPP for the trial I’ve already been put through:

A prosecution should not be instituted or continued unless there is admissible, substantial and reliable evidence that a criminal offence known to the law has been committed by the accused.

The fact is that a prosecution has already been instituted, whether it proceeds or not. Now, it may be that this boy’s story constitutes admissible evidence. That’s no doubt a technical matter for the courts to decide. However, there’s no doubt whatever – absolutely none – that it doesn’t constitute substantial or reliable evidence. The unreliability of the complainant would be reliably testified to by every single professional person – foster carer, placement worker, teacher or social worker - who has ever worked with him, not to mention members of his own family. And there is no other evidence apart from this boy’s story. It therefore seems to me that in instituting this prosecution, the ODPP has flouted its own policy, to my great detriment and continued suffering.

At least my reading in this matter has calmed my fears, and made me more confident that ever that, now that we’re approaching the pointy end of things, the matter won’t proceed much further.


At 8:17 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly - Be careful what you say on this site. Someone may not like it. Secondly - This wouldn't be the first case that, once started, took on a crazy momentum of its own which led it straight past all the 'guidelines' (How do you enforce them?) - Thirdly, in the days of 'victim's justice', what makes you think you'll get a fair trial if it gets that far?

At 9:34 pm , Blogger Stewart said...

Thank you, it’s not the first time I’ve received such advice, and I’m trying to be careful. As far as I’m aware I’m not breaking any law.
On the second point, I’m well aware of, and trying to learn more about, cases such as those written about in The Secret of Bryn Estyn By Richard Webster, but I’m a little more optimistic than you are about the justice system here, in spite of the local law-and-order push and ‘victim’s justice’. As to how the DPP’s guidelines are enforced, that’s a good question, and I might try to find out. Though I’m a little shocked that the case has gotten this far, I’ve not found anything overtly unfair about proceedings as yet. No out-and-out lies told, at least.


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