Thursday, 7 May 2009

Evidence or punishment?

Gathering and presenting evidence from a four year old girl of serious sexual assault some two years previously is a tremendous challenge. The youngest witness I ever had to deal with in this respect was a six year old girl assaulted by her father. One has two pressures; not to add to the trauma and to ensure that the best evidence is presented in the best way. The molester must meet just desserts, the child must not be harmed.
My concerns were re-ignited by the case of Baby P's sister. The investigators of today have the technical resource of cctv both at interview stage and at court. However, at the end of the day one has to remember that the duty of a defending counsel requires him to ensure that prosecution evidence is tested. How far should he go? Might any temerity on his part open an appeal process - I would imagine there would be far greater resistence to subject the child to another bout of questioning should a retrial be considered.
I was, therefore, interested to read this comment on the process.

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