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Hi, I'm asking a question for a family member. My father has recently been through a court case where the prosecution pursued a case of sexual assault against him for a year. They did not have any evidence other than the word of the complainant, and had systematically maintained (entirely falsely) that he had been attacked with a glass and had received stitches as a result of his actions. This is not true and his medical records prove otherwise, He was found not guilty by the judge at crown court (without calling the jury.) But he did plead guilty to a second charge of Common Assault with the particulars 'touching [the defendant] on her knee'. He plead guilty because he did not want to risk the sex offenders register when he knew the police and cps were consistently lying.It now transpires that the Police & CPS both had in there possession

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

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Yes, we now have proof that 1) the police repeatedly failed to pass evidence on to the CPS. 2) the police and the CPS did not disclose a police interview with the sole eye-witness. The transcript of this interview is 43 pages long and entirely supports the defence's version of events and entirely undermines the prosecutions case. We don't know what to do.

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: UK Law
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12/5/2017
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 71,159
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
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What would you like to know about this please?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I'd like to know what legal recourse is in place for someone who has been dragged, entirely unnecessarily through the legal system only for a judge to tell them that they simply could not prosecute.Now, it not only transpires that there was not enough evidence to start with in crown court, but the Police had systematically failed to pass on evidence when they had received it. The CPS also failed to disclose to the courts that they were in possession of a 43 page police interview with the only eye witness that proved he didn't do it!Does he have grounds to litigate against either the Police or the CPS?
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago

If you are asking whether there is a claim against CPS then there is not i'm afraid.

There is a wealth of caselaw that says that they are not liable for their prosecutorial decisions. It is basically a policy reason to avoid CPS spending their days and public money defending actions against their prosecutorial decisions.

There is usually a much better claim against the accuser than against CPS and it would be a useful service to society if accusers were taught that they need to be more careful before making nasty allegations that they cannot prove.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks for your thoughts Jo,That was largely as far as my thinking took me also, however, how can one litigate against another when the accuser has the benefit of anonymity?From my own education (albeit nearly 10 years ago!) I was under the impression that if the CPS are in possession of a document which clearly impacts / undermines the case then are they not in fact legally obliged to under CPIA 96 / CJA 03 (As well as their own internal policy & Attorney Generals guidelines on disclosure)? Likewise if the Police fail to present evidence to the CPS but represent to the defence that they have presented it, would that not be a blatant breach of PACE?
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago

Oh yes, you can sue. Her having anonymity does not mean you cannot sure.

They should have disclosed anything that undermines their case or assists the defence. Failing to do so is pretty common not because of dishonesty but just because CPS are in chaos.

That doesn't render them liability to being sued.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thanks Jo,What about the police actually lying about things which they knew weren't true and saying they'd passed things onto the CPS when they hadn't? This isn't said on a whim, in this case it's entirely demonstrable.The frustration here is that as far as I can see it, for whatever reason, there were failings and the presentation of untrue statements by police officers as fact and when this was pointed out to the CPS, no action was taken to correct it. How or why there are failings is not the fault of a defendant or his/her team. There must be a mechanism of accountability. Even in the transcripts, the judge gave the CPS a hard lecture about public interest and taxpayers money.
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago

The only way to bring a claim for the prosecution is to argue that they acted out of bad faith.

The reality is that they will not have done. I know that CPS are like this but it is to do with resources and incompetence rather than bad faith.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
You see, you say that, but through DPA we've got them (the Police & CPS) discussing via e-mail and a recording on CPS Daytime Direct whether or not to disclose the 43 page interview, before deciding not to because of who he is/was.We also have bodycam footage of an officer explaining to the complainant that the purpose of the VPS is to enhance the punishment in the case of a successful prosecution. We also have bodycam footage of the police officer calling stating 'He's got what's coming to him.'So when I say it's demonstrable that they did not disclose it because they chose not to, as opposed to not disclosing as an oversight. I mean it.So. Again I ask, what legal recourse is there against the prosecution for fitting him up?
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago

Oh yes, of course it was a deliberate decision.

That doesn't mean it was bad faith. Bad faith is generally a high test

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What would be an example of Bad Faith?I ask as 10 months before this incident an officer of the same station in Gloucestershire Constabulary was issued further training and management advice as a result of a complaint made by my father when he was the victim in another case.
Solicitor: Jo C., Barrister replied 4 months ago

Something like the OIC was having an affair with the complainant and he deliberately assisted her in a lie to get rid of a defendant.

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