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Has anyone had to give evidence in court?

(30 Posts)
CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 21:31:04

I have to give evidence in a magistrate's court next week. I'm a very anxious person at the best of times and I'm dreading it. My DH says that the solicitor for the defence will twist everything I say and I don't think I'm up to it. Anybody done it? Any advice gratefully received.

Cod Sun 27-Feb-05 21:32:34

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Cod Sun 27-Feb-05 21:33:23

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leglebegle Sun 27-Feb-05 21:33:40

cough, I'm a nasty criminal defence solicitor who will happily give you some general court advice if you have any questions. Obviously can't discuss merits of case etc but can help ease your nerves I'm sure!

leglebegle Sun 27-Feb-05 21:35:01

I LOVE the Judge. You just can't beat it. Not only does he hear the case his lover is prosecuting but his daughter is the junior. Love it.

Cod Sun 27-Feb-05 21:39:05

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CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 21:45:07

DS is a copper so he's talking from experience and also trying to protect me too no doubt. It's nothing glamorous: last summer my dog was attacked by another dog when I was out walking her. She had six puncture wounds in her neck and had to be sedated by the vet. DH didn't think it would go to court and that the court would order her to keep her dog under control but she is being charged with her dog being dangerously out of contol in a public place (or some such charge) and she is pleading not guilty.

I wake up at 4am every morning worrying about it and can't get back to sleep.

Cod Sun 27-Feb-05 21:46:02

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Dahlia Sun 27-Feb-05 21:48:53

I had to give evidence against a lorry driver who did a u turn in the road and whom I nearly crashed into - I was only 20 ish at the time so found it very nerve racking - the questioning wasn't too severe but they did manage to twist it round to make it seem like it was my fault. So then I got annoyed and and stroppy which probably didn't help. The guy got off......

CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 21:49:02

Thanks Cod, I hope you are right. I keep telling myself that I am doing this for my dog.

Surfermum Sun 27-Feb-05 21:50:29

Good luck CQ. I had to go to Court when I was 20 when I was involved in a car accident - and I was completely beside myself with nerves. The magistrate was lovely, and seemed very sympathetic to the fact that I was very young and very nervous.

PS: Another JD fan here.

leglebegle Sun 27-Feb-05 21:52:35

Oh no, don't worry. Honestly, no-one is going to get that het up about a dangerous dogs case. In my experience you only ever get shouti'ness and LA Law type behaviour in court very rarely and its always a case with high drama, like girlfriend saying boyfriend beat her up, and there's not a lot of evidence so its her word against his and you have to put it to her she's lying. Honestly, the police give us much more credit than we deserve! The vast majority of defence solicitors want to behave with respect to the witnesses. There does come a time when you do have to put it to someone that they are lying and that's never nice, but the police do tend to think that we are sneakier than we really are!

CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 21:53:55

Surfermum, thanks for your reply. I will be very nervous but not so young unfortunately .

leglebegle Sun 27-Feb-05 21:55:31

Just stay calm, no matter how you are spoken to, answer with politeness, and only ever answer the question you are asked. So many people go off on a tangent and start justifying themselves. They say more than they meant. Keep it short and sweet. Good luck!

pixiefish Sun 27-Feb-05 21:55:38

CQ- no experience but good luck. Am sure it will be ok. You can only tell the truth- no one can condemn you for that xx

CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 22:02:10

leglebegle, thanks for that. I feel that I am the one in the wrong but have to remind myself that that is not the case! I used to walk the same route with DS in pushchair and dog attached so I have to thank my lucky stars that it wasn't DS on the receiving end. DH says that they will say that if you feared for your own safety then why did you try to rescue your dog? (I did try to pull off nasty large dog off my small dog but all the details are now a blur). If they do ask that then my honest reply will be that it is instict to protect one's own and I'd have done the same if it'd been my child.

CelluliteQueen Sun 27-Feb-05 22:03:54

Thanks Pixie! Going to bed now as have been up since 4 and falling asleep as I type........


pixiefish Sun 27-Feb-05 22:04:05

If they had animals then they'd know that you considered the dog to be one of the family. Of course you're going to try and rescue your dog, any animal lover would have done the same xx

redsky Sun 27-Feb-05 22:25:26

I was a witness to an armed robbery in a post office and had to give evidence in court. Although I felt confident of my facts (what I had seen) I came across as a bumbling idiot in court. Fortunately other witnesses coped better than I did and the 2 robbers were sentenced to 10 yrs and 8yrs in prison. Turned out they had done two other armed robberies as well. I wish I had been better prepared for the court hearing and court procedures. I didn't know which questioner was for the defence or prosecution, everything I said seemed to be open to misinterpretation, the court room was tiny and cluttered with very dark wood benches etc - not like I imagined at all. Hope you get some good advice from other MNers who have court experience. Good luck!!

leglebegle Sun 27-Feb-05 22:29:09

CQ - that's the perfect answer!

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 12:13:31

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CelluliteQueen Mon 28-Feb-05 20:31:12

Thanks for your replies, much appreciated. I will only be telling the truth but my worry is that I will go to pieces nonetheless (pathetic cow I am).

Cod, the hearing is on Friday so no time for other observations I'm afraid. Will let you know how I get on. It's the principle of the thing really.

pixiefish Mon 28-Feb-05 21:03:00

We'll be with you in our hearts CQ

CelluliteQueen Wed 02-Mar-05 17:48:11

Hi all, good news: received a letter from the Witness Management Team to say that I'm no longer required in court. They have made a Civil Control Order and owner will be fined (which is what DH thought they'd do in the first place).

A very delighted and relieved CQ here. Thanks for all your support.


RTKangaMummy Wed 02-Mar-05 17:49:45

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