Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Trial Preparation - The Trial

I attended today at the trial I mentioned yesterday and sat around waiting for my Clients, they did not attend when they should have done so. The Prosecutor told me that she was going to make an application to proceed in the Client's absence with the trial. After the Police witnesses eventually turned up I was left with the decision to make: do I remain and continue to represent the Clients on the basis of my limited instructions, or do I do the usual thing and withdraw from the case so that no blame can be laid at my feet if the Clients are convicted? I decided that the instructions I had were enough to challenge the prosecution witnesses and where I had points to make about the evidence not proving the offence, rather than trying to put another account to the witnesses, I felt that my Clients' case had suddenly improved - I was looking forward to a trial that the Clients could not spoil!

Then disaster struck. As we were 15 minutes from starting the trial the Police liaison Officer came in to Court and told everyone that my Clients had been deported and were no longer in the Country! The case resulted in the Prosecution offering no evidence as they could not have a trial if there was a good explanation why my Clients were absent.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well a "sort of" result for you.

I know I'm wasting my time with this, but I would expect that prior to deportation some kind of check is made for such outstanding matters such as trials so they can at least be cancelled.

Actually, this was a minor offence so we might say better deporting them; but what if someone was wanted by the police on suspicion for say murder, but immigration gets to them first, with no checking, couldn't they be deported and escape punishment?

Anonymous said...

The 'system' is not joined up enough yet to work seamlessly between departments.

Another Constable said...

Hmmm... it's a shame theft is nowadays seen as a "minor offence" (at least it is by the first commenter).

Speaks volumes about today's society...