Where’s the evidence? Duties of counsel when making allegations of misconduct

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1 Response

  1. Jaques says:

    I was the victim of a home invasion. A complete stranger entered my house and armed himself with a knife taken from my kitchen and entered my bedroom whilst I was asleep. When I jumped out of bed the person fled- and attempted to steal my car- having already stolen my keys. The police were able to identify the intruder via DNA evidence found on the knife which he left in my car having failed to steal it.

    18 months later I attended court as a witness. This was a simple yes/no affiar- until I was suddenly attacked by the defense barrister in cross examination: out of the blue he accused me of being known to the intruder, a friend of his, and furthermore his meth dealer! I was completely shocked an unprepared for this turn of events. I denied it vociferously- the barrister repeated the claim in numerous formulations. The DPP did not get me back on the stand- and made no real attempt to challenge this slanderous allegation. The judge was also largely silent. The defense barrister offered no evidence to back up the claim and the accused never uttered a single word in court.

    There was never any question about the certainty of the DNA evidence linking the home invader to the crime. However the allegation that I was known to the invader, and his meth dealer- was used to insinuate that his DNA came to be on my kitchen knife in the course of some joint criminal enterprise between myself and the accused.

    It goes without saying that I am not a meth dealer- and that I had never met or knew the invader. The allegation was completely without foundation- a total lie.

    Never the less- the jury took over 9 hours- before coming to a finding of not guilty- and the home invader walked free from court that day. This was particularly horrible outcome as before he had entered my house that day he invaded another house and violently assaulted multiple victims in their beds. He is a career criminal with a long record of violent and serious crimes.

    I was left utterly devastated bu this turn of events- I felt demeaned, slandered and re-victimised bu the court process.

    I feel what happened to me is a textbook case of what you have written about in your article: the defense barrister made outrageous claims of criminal conduct against me- they were made without any evidence to back them up at all- just pure mud throwing slander. The result of this was a miscarriage of justice.

    The DPP have indicated they have no avenue to appeal this jury decision.

    I would be interested to know your thoughts about what happened to me. I have made an official complaint about the conduct of the barrister to the Law Society- and am seeking whatever redress is open to me. I am left with absolutely no faith in our judicial processes.

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