The use of intermediaries during criminal trials is becoming increasingly commonplace. An intermediary may be used to assist any witness, including a defendant, give evidence. The functions of an intermediary “Intermediaries are communication specialists (not supporters or expert witnesses) whose role is to facilitate communication between the witness and the court, including the advocates. Intermediaries … Continued

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence is widely misunderstood, and many people cannot understand how a case can be advanced without primary evidence of wrongdoing.   To illustrate this, we can use two examples relating to burglary. Burglary can be committed in quite a few different ways, but the most common allegation is that a person entered a building as … Continued

Tougher approach to assaults on NHS staff

Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has written to NHS staff voicing his concern in relation to the use of violence against emergency workers. Hancock’s approach mirrors that taken last year by police chiefs worried about the rise in violence used towards police officers. Last year’s NHS Staff Survey revealed that … Continued

Prosecuting Without A ‘Victim’

We often get asked how prosecutions can proceed in the absence of cooperation from the victim or chief witness. The starting point is that no prosecution can go ahead unless there is a realistic prospect of conviction, but how the prosecution case is formulated remains a matter for the Crown Prosecution to decide. These are … Continued

Speeding and GPS – Does the camera lie?

Peter Marrable was summonsed to court for speeding. The allegation was that he had driven at 72mph in a temporary 50mph zone. The police produced evidence of the speed from a ‘Trucam’ device that was approved, calibrated and operating correctly. Mr Marrable produced evidence from a GPS tracker that was fitted to his company vehicle … Continued

“Blackmail” – “…attempted murder of the soul.”

A new series on Netflix, ‘The Stranger’, is receiving rave reviews, with viewers keen to discover the secret being kept from lawyer Adam Price, as the search continues for his missing wife. There are many sub-plots along the way, including the blackmail of several individuals keen to suppress unsavoury stories making their way into the … Continued

Driving disqualifications

The Sentencing Council is responsible for issuing guidelines on sentencing for the courts to follow. Guidelines must be followed unless it is in the interests of justice not to do so. New guidelines are now being proposed in respect of disqualifications from driving. What is being proposed? The guidance mainly relates to cases dealt with … Continued

Recording and Broadcasting in Court

Recording and Broadcasting in Court                                           It has long been a criminal offence to take photographs or make recordings in court; even sketch artists have to sketch from memory rather than while in court. In 2011 an 85-year-old man was sent to prison for recording court proceedings, and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (commonly known as Tommy Robinson) recently … Continued

Prisoners Abroad – Help is Available

The plight of a 19-year-old British woman hit the news last week, culminating in reports of her being sentenced by a Cypriot court for making what was said to be a false rape allegation. There are many features of this particular case that have caused alarm, and it brings into sharp focus the different legal … Continued

Giving False Information to the Police

It is an offence to give false information to the police. Section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 provides: ‘Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person a false report tending to show that an offence has been committed, or to give rise to apprehension for … Continued

An e-scooter is for private land, not just for Christmas

BSB Solicitors research forecasts that electric scooters are set to be a popular gift this Christmas season, but in a survey we found that the public don’t know where they can be legally ridden in the UK. We look further into the rise in popularity of this form of micromobility and what implications illegal riding can … Continued

Investigating and Prosecuting Rape Cases

Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has published a new report in relation to the investigation and prosecution of rape cases. The significant findings are: Since 2016, the number of cases prosecuted by the CPS has fallen by 52%. This is despite the fact that there has been a 43% rise in the number of … Continued