The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Suppressio Veri, Suggestio Falsi (Again)

The Sun has the perfect tabloid take on this story in which a witness had her evidence rejected because she was 'too honest'. Anyone with a passing knowledge of criminal law would realise that identification evidence (which hers apparently was) is notoriously fallible, and is hedged around with case law, in particular R v Turnbull, a case that every magistrate hears about sooner or later. Unless I am mistaken the judge felt obliged in the interests of justice to call a halt, since her ID evidence was legally just too thin, and her manner all too convincing - she was almost certainly telling the truth, but the dangers of the ID were overwhelming and the Court of Appeal waiting in the wings.
So fasten your seatbelts for a tabloid-led chase, with the out-of-touch old duffer in the wig being pilloried for being so horrid to such a nice girl who has been wronged by such a nasty man.

The Sun's readers' comments are often beyond parody:- just scroll to the bottom of the Sun article. (link was a bit dodgy - sorry).