Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Is That The Right One?

I was at a Police Station last night dealing with a case where a Client had been accused of 'dipping'. This is otherwise known as pick pocketing.

My Client was alleged to have followed someone round a supermarket and taken their purse out of their handbag at an opportune moment and then concealed the purse in the freezer section.
I was given disclosure and I had a consultation. The Client was being cagey and did not want to give an account. That was fine. He decided to give a no comment interview, particularly because there was no statement from the victim, although the police said they had traced her and knew who she was.

The interview went as expected right up until the end. The Police asked their usual questions and the Client gave the stock response of "no comment". The Police then pulled out the purse in an evidence bag. One of the Police Officers then said, "We are showing Mr. Bloggs exhibit WLV/1, a grey purse". The Office then said, "The statement from the Security Guard says that he saw you walking with this black purse and that he recovered this black purse from the freezer".

My Client put his hand up like a small school child and asked to have a private consultation. He then said, "I have never seen that thing in my life". He was pointing to the grey purse that was supposed to be the crucial evidence.

The Police polished off the interview doubting that they had recovered the right purse. I guess the key question if this case turns in to a prosecution is, "Madam, was your purse black or grey?"

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