No one can have escaped the press coverage of high profile cases of historical sexual abuse such as Savile and Rolf Harris. One of the effects of these cases has been an increase in victims coming forward to report similar offence, some of which occurred decades ago. While it is likely that most are justified and dealt with properly, what of those that are denied?
Investigating historic allegations poses obvious problems; it’s unlikely that there will be any forensic evidence, dates may be inexact and clearly witness evidence will be impeded by the passage of time.
If the person making the complaint is unsure about the identity of his/her alleged attacker, there may have to be an identification process using photographs of people from the time of the alleged incident, which involves careful scrutiny and robust defence representation.
In historic cases it is unusual for those making the allegations to recall the exact time and date of the offence and consequently it is difficult for the Defendant to raise any alibi. The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2007 permits the use of a single charge that alleges more than one incident of the same offence. This means that there does not necessarily have to be individual charges. It is possible for one ‘blanket charge or indictment’ to cover a number of allegations.
Defending an allegation arising from a ‘vague’ date poses obvious problems and requires meticulous examination of the prosecution evidence. While discrepancies in the accounts provided by prosecution witnesses are always evidentially useful, they will always be given a certain amount of leeway in historical cases. Defending such cases involves a particular defence expertise and access to the best expert witnesses and Counsel .
We are an experienced, independent defence team who have successfully dealt with many cases of this nature. We have forged excellent professional relationships with expert witnesses and highly experienced Counsel from across the UK. We deal with a broad range of allegations from all walks of life, including those involved in education, medical/care industry and those who are working/have worked locally within the prison service such as Medomsley Detention Centre and Netherton Park and other custodial establishments across England.
Every disputed allegation of this nature, however old, can have a harrowing effect on the individual it is made against and those surrounding them.
We always conscious of this and will work to vigorously defend your case and support you from throughout your case.
If you want to speak to one of our experienced team, please call 0191 232 3048 during office hours.
If you require police station representation outside office hours, please call 0776 837 6039.