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Help with witness summons query

(6 Posts)
LegalAdviceSought Thu 09-Nov-17 18:27:57

Hi, this is a Scottish jurisdiction issue so I'd appreciate any info/advice on how to tackle this.

DC is 12 yrs old & has been notified by CPS (or Scottish equivalent) that they have their details as a witness to an incident - person case is against possibility facing trial early next year.

I wasn't present & have only brief details. My understanding of what DC witnessed is that their other parent's address could be figured out from their statement/evidence & from letter received, my/DC's address has been given to police - if they're summonsed to appear as a witness in this trial, am I able to insist on screen/ID protection for them? Their/my address has been given to police, is with the CPS & I'm assuming will be made available to the defendants legal reps & this worries me greatly. My knowledge of the person/what they have done frankly scares the shit out of me & I've no idea if/how I can ensure our address can be kept confidential. I'd also rather DC was able to keep their physical ID confidential (they won't have been seen by defendant at the time but they'd have to be seen in court if no screen etc.).

If anyone has any knowledge or advice on this issue, I'd appreciate any help trying to figure out all the implications of this situation.


Nicknacky Thu 09-Nov-17 20:21:22

Your address won't be given to the defence at all, it's submitted on the police report to the PF however the witness is then referred to as "Jane Smith c/o Police Service of Scotland.

Of course that wouldn't prevent an accuse from working out where a witness lived if it is obvious in their evidence.

Special measure like screens can be used when there is vulnerable witness, that's not an issue generally.

But mostly, don't worry too much all this stage. Many many defendants plead guilty prior to the trial or indeed on the day. No point stressing about something that might not happen yet.

LegalAdviceSought Thu 09-Nov-17 20:33:58

Thanks, that's very helpful. I think my worries were growing arms & legs as I knew nothing until the letter arrived yesterday!

namechange2222 Fri 10-Nov-17 09:37:11

I can reiterate that when I was summoned as a witness in a very nasty case it was organised without any fuss for me to be behind a screen. I would have refused otherwise as I know I was justified in thinking I would have been very vulnerable. My details were also not given to the defendant or his barristers. This was England.

LegalAdviceSought Fri 10-Nov-17 17:46:02

Thank you for that, that's really helpful too & reassuring.


PoppyPopcorn Fri 10-Nov-17 20:19:05

Call the Procurator Fiscal's office. There will be a number on the letter. They are usually very helpful.

Years ago I was called as a witness in a fraud trial - someone passing dodgy cheques and I had accepted one in a shop. I couldn't remember the person at all and all I could add to the case was confirming it was my signature on the cheque and saying it was me in the CCTV footage.

The trial conflicted with some very important exams and after speaking to the PF office they excused me - they were willing to do that as my evidence wouldn't make much difference one way or the other. Depending on what your son saw or didn't see, and how many other witnesses there are they might not want him to appear at all, especially if there are adults being called too.

So speak to them. They are nice people and not at all scary.

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