Discussion in 'Bulletin Board' started by Reds Fan, Jul 24, 2021.
Not the worst
Just worse when comparing some but not actually the worst?
Did I do that right? because honestly I've no idea lol
I’m not going looking, but I believe ‘one of the worst’ was the phrase I used, and in mitigation, as I posted at the time, I have to stop myself being the grammar police, so other people doing it presses a button.
ergo I didn’t comment on your spelling till you had a go at someone else
In fairness though I had no issue with anyone's spelling or grammar just that splitting long posts into paragraphs makes it easier on my brain to read.
Me too (I tend to double space paragraphs).
But technically that is ‘grammar’ surely?
As someone who obviously understands the workings of our judicial system, can you answer a couple of questions?
Since similar charge relating to the Stendel incident is still pending and due to be heard in Crown Court, is a similar delay likely to occur for this latest charge to be heard in court?
Alternatively, could the two be heard concurrently? I believe previous convictions are not allowed to be referenced in case they prejudice a decision ( something I personally find odd if the charge relates specifically to something someone has been convicted of multiple times previously which is surely relevant) but what about pending charges?
I once remember a court case many years ago whilst on jury service (obviously I cannot discuss any details) where an accused was found not guilty but rather than walking free the judge ordered that the person be held pending another hearing regarding relating to a separate alleged offence. I can understand that had we the jury known of the defendants previous history it could conceivably have adversely influenced the decision (which was split anyway) based solely on the evidence related to the specific case.
Nevertheless, given all the media surrounding Barton there can be very few jurors who would not know his 'form'. Human nature being what it is it is bound to weigh on their minds when the decisions are being taken rightly or wrongly. I am sure the judge will warn jurors against being pre-judgemental given Barton's......ahem....'celebrity' status.
You could argue the same with any high profile case though. I juat think the bar for reasonable doubt might be higher if you know of past form.
The Stendel charge is due to be tried in the Crown Court, where delay problems are even worse than those in the magistrates' courts. The most recent charge (common assault) is triable only summarily and will therefore remain in Wimbledon Magistrates' Court, where it has been set down for trial on 16 December this year.
It always used to be the case that 'bad character' evidence could not be adduced at a person's trial except in limited circumstances. These included where the defendant impugned the character of a prosecution witness (thereby setting up his own good character - which could be rebutted by the prosecution) or where the allegation involved conduct which bore a 'striking similarity' with that in other convictions or allegations against the defendant. Since the advent of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 there has been statutory provision for bad character evidence to be adduced against the defendant in a wider range of circumstances. Even under the 2003 Act though there is provision for the bad character evidence (of which the outstanding Stendel allegation would be an example) to be excluded where that evidence would be more prejudicial than probative. I think that there is a strong chance Barton's representative would argue for that given that he apparently denies the Stendel allegation.
As you say it is fair to assume that Barton's reputation is fairly well known. But again as you say, I would expect this to be dealt with by the judge reminding the jury in the Stendel case not to make assumptions. In the magistrates' case the Bench must warn themselves not to make those assumptions, but you can expect Barton's brief to remind them also!
I think it's a high bar for the court to determine that a fair trial is impossible, Helen. It was a problem that often occurred in the cases involving Mr Kenneth ('Kipper') Jackson!
Thanks for the detailed reply. All is much clearer..... I think I
I just hope we don't end up like the U.S. legal system where ( if the dozens of U.S. TV legal dramas are anything to go by) if you are a celebrity and/or have lots of money, you can hire a 'high end' legal firm with a top lawyer who can get you off most charges or, at the very least, negotiate a plea bargain to greatly reduce the sentence (and probably justice for the victim(s))
Not quite down the American route, but as per a thread the other day, there’s more of a rich poor divide in fair access to the law now than at any time in my lifetime.
The Tories cut legal aid for the benefit of austerity (apparently we can’t afford a fair justice system). Which means the likes of Mr Barton will get a decent lawyer, who’ll be earning 3 or 4x what the prosecution lawyer will earn, and the prosecution lawyer will either be employed by the CPS directly, and have a massive workload for a tiny salary, or be self employed paid at legal aid rates having possibly had the case dumped on them at short notice.
Meanwhile the likes of you and me if charged, would get no legal aid, would have to pay market rates for our defence, and if found not guilty, would possibly get back some of our legal costs (at legal aid rates). Meanwhile having potentially lost our wife, job, home.
And that’s when we finally get to court (more cuts due to austerity) if we’d got caught in the first place (austerity again) and if we’d been held on remand, it would have been in an overcrowded violent prison (austerity). And there’s no compensation for your loss of liberty waiting for trial.
Meanwhile, our prime minister is making speeches about putting prisoners in chain gangs to suffer public humiliation (as if that’s even remotely related to any of the problems in the system).
And all this is possible, because the public will swallow media headlines about ‘activist lawyers’, ‘compensation culture’, fat cat lawyers and criminals ‘receiving thousands’ in legal aid.
PM's attack endangers lawyers and clients, Society warns | News | Law Gazette
Says the law society (todays article).
Can't like this enough. The Secret Barrister's book is an eye opening insight into the shambles that is the criminal justice system, and how it has been crippled over the past decade.
Exactly so. The Secret Barrister also points out how easy it is for us to become unexpectedly tangled up in the justice system, whether civil (employment disputes, housing) or criminal.
This is the truly horrifying bit.
They can wreck the criminal justice system because it’s ‘other people’.
Whilst we can see that we might possibly be a victim of crime, we aren’t criminals, so it doesn’t matter to us really.
But I bet we all know someone we believe to have been wrongly accused of a crime. And we definitely all know victims.
And just in case anyone perceives this as simply Tory bashing, much of this started under Major and some of it accelerated under Blair.
Just like ‘benefit scroungers’, ‘criminals’ and their corrupt lawyers are really good populist scapegoats.
I was witness against a gang of shoplifters when I worked in retail, late 90's. We'd caught them dozens of times, they'd got away with it God knows how many more.
At Liverpool Crown caught (they were all tried individually) I had to give evidence against one. The judge told us, and the jury, countless times over the days that we must only reference evidence given, we must not go on previous involvement and must not reference other cases. His lawyer made a pretty good stab at getting him off; the jury were almost convinced, but he ended up being found guilty. Only when it came to mitigation pleas from his lawyer were the rest of the court told he had 100+ previous convictions and had spent every other year in jail since being released from young offenders in 1966.
The jury breathed a collective sigh of relief, but it was so close to going the other way. Whilst I partly agree with the advice to listen to only the evidence presented, I couldn't help but think the jury would have had an easier choice knowing his previous character.
All part of the legal game that makes rich men of the men in wigs!!
That's dangerous. Each case should be judged on its facts and not assumptions based on characrer/previous offences
I understand why you feel that way about it and I’m certain I would too but you just can’t find someone guilty of something based on that they had done something bad once (or many times) before. I’ve seen kids at schools get a ‘reputation’ and be blamed for things they haven’t done and they quickly get a mindset of ‘what’s the point, I’ll be blamed anyway so I might as well misbehave’ and give up all hope in themselves. They’re there to be judged on that one thing and it needs to be decided if they are guilty and have even done the thing or not before the punishment is decided.
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