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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70508
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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How do I retract a statement Do I need a lawyer My freind

Customer Question

How do I retract a statement? Do I need a lawyer? My freind got a bit out of hand and the police were called. They classed it as a domestic and he did not get bail. My statement said I thought he might cause me harm but now I don't think this is true. Need to get him out of jail, can I retract my statement?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I live with Jake, we had an argument about money. He became really distressed and threatend to put lighter fuel through the letter box when I wouldn't let him into the house. He put a match through theletterbox but no fuel. I know now that he would never have done that, i've been his firend for 20 years he has no prevoius convictions. He was charged with attempted arson and resiting arrest. I need to get him out of jail. How can I retract my statement? In my statement I said I thought he might because at the time I was scared but now I know he wouldn't have done it. He is in cusdoy awaiting a hearing.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

Have the police been called before to other domestic arguments by any chance?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX but he'd called them himself, he didn't get a caution, was released without charge.

Can I ask, do I pay for each reply?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
No, you dont pay until you accept.

Has he got relevant previous convictions then?

Also, have you told them you are not willing to proceed?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. No he has no previous conviction for anything but has been going through a bad patch and is on anti depressants.

I said at the end of my statement that I wasn't sure if I would be prepared to take it any further. My worry is that I said I thought he intended to cause a fire, but I don't think he did. He was just being very stupid.

I want to call the police and tell them this but I want to be sure i've got it straight from a legal perspective so they don't confuse me! His defense is saying (via his friend) that the only way to get him out is to retract my statement. Can I do this?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
You can make a retraction statement but the risk is that they will use it to get a summons. If this is a domestic squabble and the allegation is arson with intent to endanger life then they probably will do that.

Probably its better to do nothing and just not attend court. If there is no summons for you then you are doing nothing wrong in failing to attend. But they will remand him in the meantime.

It is always possible that they will let you retract but the risks are high they would not and then you would tip them off that they need a summons.

It is rather worrying that he's been remanded. Arson is a serious offence but it wouldn't normally lead to a remand on a first relevant offence. I suppose the problem may have been that he has nowhere else to go.

If you do escape on this occasion though, its not a good idea to call the police unless you want to go to the bitter end. Once you do, you will lose control over the matter.

I'm happy to discuss this but please remember to click on accept.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry i don't know what you mean by escape. If I get summoned then at least I would be able to help him if he pleads not guilty?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.
How ?

You've made a statement against him. He will be convicted if you attend.

I am happy to discuss this but please remember to press ACCEPT.
Jo C. and 5 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I appeiate your tim on this but I don't really understand. Can I retract a statement? What if they accept my retraction? If they don't accept, then I can be summoned, why would that automaticlaly lead to a conviction?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 6 years ago.

Because if you change your evidence they will put your statement to you hearsay.

If you are going to make S9 statements against people you cannot control the prosecution thereafter. The fact that you don't want to go to court isnt evidence that he didn't do this. You chose to involve the police in this. There is a risk they may not want to drop the matter at your request.