On a regular basis clients contact us, often having been interviewed by the police, worried about the impact that allegations will have on their good name and reputation, their business, their family lives (because often there has been a Section 47 Social Workers Investigation) and sometimes in relation to the Regulator (where appropriate).
One of the first things the majority of clients say to us is "can you make this all go away?"
Defence following police interviews
As Defence Lawyers, it is not only a case that we defend people in the course of trial proceedings but, we also find that our work begins either at the police station or as soon as we obtain instructions from a client who has already been interviewed by the police.
Sometimes the client has been advised to give a "No Comment" interview, i.e. to answer no comment to every question when asked either with or without a prepared statement being given to the officers who are asking the questions.
On many occasions, those clients tell us that they would rather have answered questions because they had information that the police may have found relevant as regards their "defence".
We sometimes ask the police to re-interview the client, which is in effect a re-run of the initial interview with the client answering the majority, if not all of the questions and setting forth his/her "defence" by way of answers to the questions.
On many occasions, the matter has gone no further. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have considered the evidence that the client has been able to put forward in the second interview and have then decided to take "no further action" (NFA).
What forms can ‘making it go away’ take?
This "making it all go away" can take other forms, not just re-interviews at the police station.
Information can be in written form sent to the Investigation Officer (OIC) and to the CPS if the matter has already been sent there by the police. Sending persuasive correspondence, suggesting that a client should not be charged with offences, could possibly be cautioned rather than charged. Or where allegations are more serious, the charges are of a lesser nature than those originally proposed can sometimes pay dividends in that, sometimes the CPS decide to not charge. The CPS might decide to charge with lesser offences, and sometimes they refer the matter back to the police so that the client can be cautioned.
Once the matter gets to a stage whereby Court proceedings are underway, there comes a time when a Defendant has to serve a "Defence Statement", most definitely in Crown Court matters and as a matter of choice in the Magistrates Court.
Over the years we have drafted defence statements which have been served upon the CPS who have then, before trial, withdrawn the case against the Defendant.
Therefore, although we cannot guarantee being able to do this for you, it is something that we have done for many clients in the past so will gladly look at the possibility of this happening in your case.
Case example - how Sutton Defence can help
We recently dealt with the case of a young man who was accused of being “in possession/making” at least one indecent image of a child.
He indicated to us that in some weeks prior to the police interviewing him and seizing his phone for forensic examination purposes, he had randomly received applications on his phone that were unsolicited and that he did not know of.
He tried to delete them but they returned. Also, his phone, whether on charge or not, would sometimes feel extremely hot and occasionally extremely cold. He had told some of his friends about the strange behaviour of his phone whilst at a gathering one evening. In his police interview he explained some of this but it was later that he explained all about his friends having been told of these issues.
We took statements from all his friends as to what they knew and/or had been told about the circumstances surrounding our client’s phone and sent all of the statements to the police officer (OIC) in charge of the matter to help with the investigation.
The police carried out a forensic examination via their High Tech Crime Unit. No indicative search terms were found to suggest that our client had searched for indecent images.
The police, in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service took no further action and our client’s items have been returned to him.
To view another case where Sutton Defence have helped click here.
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