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Attending court as witness at 38 weeks pg

(93 Posts)
Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 18:56:13


I'm due on 5th Aug and will be induced by then at the latest. However also due to attend court as a witness on 27th July for the prosecution for a minor assault I witnessed nearly two years ago.

Do you think I will be reasonable to ask for exemption from court on this basis? I think it is up to my Gp to decide but don't want a wasted trip if Iabu.


Scarydinosaurs Wed 13-Jul-16 19:00:40

Could you ask if you can provide evidence via video link? The only person who will know will be the person who has asked you to provide evidence?

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:05:23

Thanks, it's hard to find any info but I don't think they would go to the trouble of that.

Petal12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:06:19

I would be inclined to attend if possible. However if I were the prosecution I'd have a plan b! You could go into labour at any time so could let them down on the day! Have you asked your contact/liaison what's best to do?

CountessOfStrathearn Wed 13-Jul-16 19:07:05

It isn't up to your GP to decide but will be up to the judge. I'd speak to the court and ask them. They may need confirmation of your pregnancy (as if it won't be blindingly obvious) by seeing your notes or getting a letter from your GP or midwife.

Speak to the court first.

justabigdisco Wed 13-Jul-16 19:08:45

Agree with PP - it's not up to your GP. I very much doubt that any court would agree that being pregnant is a reason not to attend court (even if only as a witness). Why don't you want to go?

BillSykesDog Wed 13-Jul-16 19:08:55

YANBU. If you're uncomfortable and in pain it's going to be a lot of waiting around in uncomfortable surroundings. I couldn't have done it at that stage.

BillSykesDog Wed 13-Jul-16 19:10:21

I very much doubt that any court would agree that being pregnant is a reason not to attend court

Have you ever actually been pregnant? If so you must have had a very easy one. Lucky you.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Wed 13-Jul-16 19:13:12

Have you spoken to the prosecution and explained? It might be that they are happy with a written statement as you might have had the baby or be in the process of having the baby. It would be in their interests also to have a plan B

Cel982 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:13:44

If you were a material witness to a crime I think you should attend if at all possible. It's not like being excused from jury duty where they can just call someone else equally 'qualified' - your specific testimony may be really important to the case. I know it may be a bit of a pain, but unless you're in very poor health I think you should try to attend.

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:14:48

I'm in Scotland, don't know if that makes a difference? Apparently Gp can provide a 'soul and conscience' letter where they certify that they believe I would be unfit to attend or give evidence.

I know it would be stressful and am not looking forward to it but if I'm not actually in labour I'm not sure if that will be enough to 'get out of it'.

Not sure if there is a court liaison person, as when I phoned today I got passed from pillar to post and then told to see my Gp.

fryingtoday Wed 13-Jul-16 19:15:25

Have you not been given a contact at the court who looks after witnesses? They should be able to advise. And look after you given your late stage

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:17:42

The victim was my BIL and neither of us can remember much, including what the accused looked like, so my evidence will be limited.

TurquoiseDress Wed 13-Jul-16 19:17:57

I don't think it's up to your GP to decide whether they can attend or not.

However, the GP can provide a information if you are thinking of trying to withdraw on the grounds on ill health related to pregnancy.

I would contact the solicitor/your contact about it and see what the contingency plan would be if you went into labour/had the baby before the court date

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:19:47

Yeah I think another phone call to the court is needed. If Gp thinks it appropriate for me not attend I'll go with that, and vice versa.

Feckthefeckoff Wed 13-Jul-16 19:20:03

Contact the court asap, the crown prosecution service will need to know. If your evidence is vital and they can't take the case forward without you they need to know so as not to waste public money. If you are to have your evidence used they will have to ask the judge and the defence will have the opportunity to object - if your evidence is vital they may argue they need to be able to ask you questions.
If the prosecutor thinks they have a strong enough case without you they can ask to remove you from the list of witnesses. Again the judge decided and defence get the chance to object. The worst possible thing to do is to leave it any later.

NapQueen Wed 13-Jul-16 19:23:36

Can evidence be pre recorded?

cakebaby Wed 13-Jul-16 19:23:59

Have witness care from police been speaking with you about attending? I'd call them & explain your situation. Tell them you need a time slot ie am/pm, you dont want to be hanging around all day. However you have been called for a reason and without witnesses attending court there is no opportunity for justice. Please bear in mind that trials are VERY often a waiting game & defendants & defence teams often wait to see if all key witnesses turn up on the day. If they do then often a guilty plea will be entered at the very last minute. It's a case of who will blink first sadly. I gave evidence at 8 months & everyone bent over backwards to accommodate me, including the judge who looked horrified I was there and absolutely insisted I sit down whilst giving evidence. I doubt you will be giving evidence long if the trial actually goes ahead and if you are called.

cakebaby Wed 13-Jul-16 19:26:33

Evidence and cross examination can only be recorded in very specific circumstances but this is not one of them.

PotteringAlong Wed 13-Jul-16 19:27:34

How far is the court from your house?

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:29:40

Thanks cake I didn't realise that accommodation could be made. Perhaps that would make it easier to go along.

Cabrinha Wed 13-Jul-16 19:30:06

Loads of people work right up to 40 weeks, to maximise maternity leave - I did.

If I were your BIL and your sister I'd be really cross that you weren't going the support the prosecution!

I'd be finding out about submitting a written statement, not because I couldn't be arsed to support my assaulted family in court, but because I'd not want it to be missed if I was in labour.

You're pregnant, not ill. Unless you have some complications that will impact your attendance (you do mention being induced on your due date) or the court is very far from your home/hospital then I don't understand why you don't just do it.

Lunaticfringe12 Wed 13-Jul-16 19:31:27

Court is not far from home at all so travel wouldn't be a problem.

Obliviated Wed 13-Jul-16 19:33:03

I'm in a similar situation. I have to give evidence in a court 4 hours away from where i live by train when I will be 38 weeks pregnant. I gave a written statement at the time, and they did make a note of when I wouldn't be available but seem to have disregarded it. Problem is, I was the only one willing to give a statement at the time! I will have to stay overnight probably and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with my young children who should be in school although I will have no choice but to take them with me.

Obliviated Wed 13-Jul-16 19:34:09

Plus it will cost a bloody fortune in travel and accommodation

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