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Police now onside, trial of abuser coming, but how to present complex evidence to them(13 Posts)
Hi, I’d appreciate any tips.
My long-term abuser (not intimate relationship) goes on trial soon for a relatively minor offence against property with me as victim (came and smashed stuff) in the magistrate’s court. The evidence of the specific offence is all in place and there is an eye-witness.
At first the police gently dissuaded me from trying to put in evidence of the patterns of abuse over the years as it wasn’t relevant.
Shortly after Sarah Everard’s death, however, I was asked if I would support an application for a restraining order (said yes). It seems her death may have created a policy change locally. The investigating officer is a young woman and abuser is a serial complainant so he may be trying to hurt her career, etc (it’s what he does).
The problem is that the background evidence goes back over many years and individual bits and pieces have to be put together for it to make sense. And magistrate’s trials are only an hour or two long. And the prosecutor may only see the papers on the day.
What I need is a lawyer, ideally a prosecutor, to guide me. Does that sound right? I do already have various civil judgments against him which refer to sexist abuse and disobeying (civil) court directions. Is that the place to start?
I will feel much safer if we can get a restraining order. Though to be fair I already feel safer as the latest round of abuse kicked off with him making false allegations against me but now those have been dropped and it is abuser who will be tried.
In terms of my clarity of mind, I have been engaging with Freedom Programme, etc, which has been very liberating and helpful
Iv got a loon like this in my life. How did you get the police to act? They did nothing when I was assulted, just keep saying its a civil matter.
I'm not a barrister, so this is really more of a bump for the thread than anything. But from my uneducated POV, if you have limited time to get your points across I would go for the most specific easily provable with easily understood evidence first. I would consider giving a summary of the timeline, with each incident noted and then give more detail about the ones you want to highlight.
I wonder if there are any organisations listed here who could help with this?
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Magistrates are trained to recognise stalking behaviour. I believe there is also something called a non molestation order-similar to restraining order but quicker & easier to be granted-that might be a good route to go. Agree facts need to be clear & concise & provable. Do you have any idea what his defence will be? Will he be represented?
I agree that the evidence needs to be clear, concise and provable.
But you can create an incident diary in a loose leaf binder and pull your evidence pages from the back of that folder.
Put the pages in date order with the oldest first. On each page write the date, the type of incident (eg assault, threats) and a brief description of the incident.
Create an index as the front page that lists the page number, the date, and the type of incident (eg criminal damage, assault etc), and create a key that highlights all the incidents that are evidenced (eg G.P., police, fire, medical).
Use post it notes to mark the pages of all incidents that are evidenced so they can be found easily.
If you are very lucky the magistrate might ask to see the entire folder.
At the moment due to covid, materials are not generally passed around the courtroom-you'd need to verbally present the evidence.
I had completely forgotten about that. Verbal only is ridiculous, arent e-documents possible?
Verbal representation works well if delivered clearly. Photos can be shared on screen but magistrates won’t have time to read much paperwork. They may have access to police reports etc
I appreciate these messages very much. Thank you.
I have lots of civil court orders (not about abuse per se but they comment on abusive behaviour to me and the female judge whilst in court) and the abuser's witness statements. He tends to condemn himself out of his own mouth but he does it in code (he's articulate) so if you read an isolated doc you don't get the threat and he might even sound reasonable- does that make sense?
It was very liberating to understand that these coded threats are just a typical abusers' pattern.
I'm thinking to use the old adage that if I say it it's just an allegation but if a judge says it (even civil) or abuser writes it, that's evidence. Does that make sense?
I appreciate this. I will delete the thread after a while for obvious reasons - you know how it is with these men - but please don't think I'm not grateful.
"magistrates won’t have time to read much paperwork."
this is my problem.
many thanks Still (like you name by the way)