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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Police caution whilst mentally unstable (labile mood / laughing

Customer Question

Police caution whilst mentally unstable (labile mood / laughing then crying) and not signed of medically FTI ; police put pressure on to get a confession (interview tape reveals unjustified threat of additional charges) after which DP confessed despite previous 18 plus denials. On that case is there a way to appeal such a case and if there were are you or someone you can instruct, in a position to take the case or write a brief?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you admit the offence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo, The person admitted whilst under duress. Things said (or done) during the interview obtained a confession.If you review the Walker confession case, details as given you will see that what is needed here is a way into a judicial appeal process as the facts are that had this matter proceeded before a court, the conduct of the police in the interview would have caused the court serious concern over how the confession was obtained. That is all I need to know; how to get into an appeal of the obtaining of the caution whilst the person was not cleared as medically fit and how that circumstance was used by the police to elicit a confession that otherwise would not have been forthcoming. Believe PACE code C covers the conduct but how does one bring the allegation that PACE was breached and in any case, where if anywhere does PACE provide a means of recourse or remedy? Does this help square the problem?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What was the duress?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Threatening of further charges which were not part of any allegation made and unconnected with the alleged s.4 POA offence. This was due to allegedly threatening or insulting words or behaviour. The police then tried to allege that it was more serious including GBH (which the Complainant did not believe). The issue in this matter relates to interviewing without the suspect being deemed medically fit and whilst the police were aware of the DPs vulnerability due to her acute mental status which meds in attendance at police station had noted in the records. The DP was not signed off as medically fit to interview. The records show the police failed to obtain that confirmation.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is not duress I'm afraid. That is almost certainly a truthful assertion. They were making an offer which they are allowed to do.
I am sorry but that is not a confession obtained by duress and so does not offend against PACE either under S78 or S76.
Most suspects are not deemed medically fit. They do not summons the FME to every suspect unless there is a good reason to do so.
In any event, the fact that a suspect may need to see a police doctor at some point does not mean that their confession in interview is unreliable.
In fairness, the suspect would have been offered a solicitor and had to sign the custody record to the effect she didn't want one. Had she accepted the offer the solicitor would have explained to her the best option.
I'm very sorry but if a caution has been accepted it is not going to be removed on this basis.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Would you email my question, additional info and your response so I may take further directions?
Richard Newton
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I think you do get the answer by email.
You would need to contact customer services about that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't think this really tackles the injustice the detained person suffered. They were not mentally fit for interview and therefore whatever she decided to do or say, the fact that her position was taken advantage by police; the confession obtained was not offered willingly but only after threats of other charges had been made. I'm not really satisfied with the answer you have given which does not give consideration to the circumstances. All I want to do is know how I can get this situation reviewed on the evidence. I'm not really seeking your opinion as to what you believe is the position without having a very full grasp of what went on and how the person's temporary mental state was perceived by police ads weakness which it was, and exploited. To go further and to ask for detailed answers I have to see my route to the next stage of the process we can follow. The law says there must always be a remedy for a wrong. Now I am only an LLB and don't profess at all to have your knowledge and experience Jo, and although criminal law is not one of your specialities, you elected to answer this one, so I'd be grateful if you would put head in book and point me to my next step. For example is there an application she can make to Magistrates? Is there an allegation that can be brought under PACE?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks but since you are displeased with my answer I will not be able to give you more information.