James Colton - Justice Online

English Justice is Injustice

Nemo tenetur prodere seipsum

(‘no one is obliged to accuse himself)

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Ben's Story

AFTER MY TRIAL 2009.


I’m sitting in my cell trying to understand the law. How the fuck could I have been found guilty of a crime where there was no evidence.  I had to find out how and why. I plagued the prison librarian into letting me have the law book ‘Archbold’ in my cell. The book around 3000 pages stared back at me in defiance. Go on then dummy open me up. I made a cup of tea.
 

Not knowing what the fuck I was looking for was daunting, I started at page 1. What does ‘mens rea’ mean I asked my cell mate.  He sniggered, fuck knows he responded. You need to go and see some guy several cells up from me. He knows the law. He’s in for murder and other stuff, killed his cell mate because he didn’t like him. Oh, great I said.

I gingerly knocked on the cell door, come in came a voice. What can I do for you he asked. I’ve just got Archbold from the library and I’m stuck on some Latin words. He explained ‘mens rea’ and we discussed the sex offences laws in some detail. Go and get your cup and I’ll make us a drink, I have something to tell you. Off I went and got my cup.
 

He said, trials are a game where the clever win and the stupid lose. OK I said, feeling stupid. I’d met a woman (I will call Mary) who I briefly knew, he said. We had a mid-day coffee and everything was amicable. She gave me her telephone number and asked me to call her, which I did early that evening.


A couple of hours later the police came knocking on my door. They said I had made an obscene phone call to Mary. I told the police I had called her but the call was not obscene. I was eventually charge with the crime of sexual harassment. The trial came and I met with my brief. What I didn’t tell him that I had a document in my pocket. During the trial I waited, he said, for the right moment, witness giving testimony, jury listening, along with the judge to Marys hair raising account, which was in great detail .

 
I stood up and loudly asked, waving the document I’d had in my pocket “if the telephone conversation was obscene why did it last 20 minutes.” The document was the telephone records.

I knew having admitted to making the phone call no one would check the phone records. This was all I needed to prove innocence.


The judge went ape-shit screaming for me to shut up and sit down. I was then acquitted!
 

Trials are a game with the cards stacked against the defendant.  Any defence evidence will be changed by the prosecution, allowed by the judge (dates etc) to fit the false narrative.

 

A defendant holding back exculpatory evidence and producing this at trial may be the only way he can obtain justice. The only caveat I can foresee is the judge ruling it inadmissible. The jury cannot ignore evidence of innocence.

 

Justice-Online
Ambushlogo

A pre-Criminal Procedure Rules case 2003

Defence by ambush no longer acceptable.

A criminal trial is not a game under which a guilty defendant should be provided with a sporting chance.

Auld LJ said at para 35

...the proper determination of such difficulties when they arise in a trial are often fact-sensitive. It may not always be  possible for amendment of an indictment to be permitted with fairness to a defendant at so late a stage, wherever the fault lies. But, just as a defendant should not be penalised for errors of his legal  representatives in the conduct of his defence if he is unfairly  prejudiced by them, so also should a prosecution not be frustrated by  errors of the prosecutor, unless such errors have irremediably rendered a fair trial for the defendant impossible. For defence advocates to seek  to take advantage of such errors by deliberately delaying identification of an issue of fact or law in the case until the last possible moment  is, in our view, no longer acceptable, given the legislative and  procedural changes to our criminal justice process in recent years.  Indeed, we consider it to be contrary to the requirement on an accused  in section 5(6) of the 1996 Act, in particular paragraph (b), to  indicate other matters on which he takes issue with the prosecution, and to their professional duty to the court  and not in the legitimate interests of the defendant.

And at para 36 (adopting the Report of the Criminal Courts Review)

To the extent that the prosecution may legitimately wish  to fill possible holes in its case once issues have been identified by  the defence statement, it is understandable why as a matter of tactics a defendant might prefer to keep his case close to his chest. But that is not a valid reason for preventing a full and fair hearing on the issues canvassed at the trial. A criminal trial is not a game under which a  guilty defendant should be provided with a sporting chance. It is a  search for truth in accordance with the twin principles that the  prosecution must prove its case and that a defendant is not obliged to  inculpate himself, the object being to convict the guilty and acquit the innocent. Requiring a defendant to indicate in advance what he disputes about the prosecution case offends neither of those principles.
See full case law ruling click
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