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What should I expect as a witness

(3 Posts)
Metrobaby Tue 16-Oct-12 10:29:27

I'm going to court soon to give evidence on behalf for the prosecution.

I'm nervous. The police who have called me in haven't communicated very much to me at all.

Has anyone else had this kind of experience?

mumblechum1 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:18:50

Haven't done crime for donkeys' years but basically the counsel for the prosecution will take you through your statement, ask you to confirm that it's true and if you want to add or change anything.

Then the defence counsel will cross examine you. Their job is to pick holes in your evidence. You just need to be calm, tell the truth, address your answers to the Judge or Magistrates, and if you don't understand the questiion ask for clarification.

If you don't know the answer to the question and the defence is trying to pus you to say what they want to hear, just say that you don't know.

If you need to gather your thoughts have a sip of water.

You'll be fine.

LittenTree Tue 16-Oct-12 12:11:40

I did it. It was nerve wracking, but I was well supported by trained volunteer helpers at the court, so I could look in the courtroom beforehand to see where everyone would be sitting, and the chap talked me through the right way to address everyone, to speak to the jury and to say I don't know if I didn't know something!

The case appeared pretty simple (road-rage where a cyclist got deliberately knocked off his bike in front of me). I was a) amazed that it went to court, and b) that the jury were subsequently hung! So there was going to be a retrial BUT the defendant decided to plead guilty in the interim so I didn't have to go back to court.

The 'worst' part was the cross examination but luckily the defence barrister was young and smug and I was having none of it. I am also, though I say it myself, quite articulate so I was able to respond to a couple of her points with 'I think you have already asked that question and I believe I have answered it'.

Good luck!

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