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Court Skills Essay

2866 words - 12 pages

Assessment Title: Statement Writing, Report Writing and Giving Evidence

Reference Number: Unit 2/SRWGE

Question 1
An evaluation of the Witness Statement made by Karen Smith has been carried out using a checklist which is attached as Appendix 1.
The Witness Statement outlines that Karen Smith attended a computer fair at the Loam Leisure Centre in order to conduct an enforcement exercise on 4 March 2012.
The layout of criminal Witness Statements is set out in Rule 16.2 Criminal Procedure Rules.
The Verification wording is not exactly as recommended in s9 Criminal Justice Act.
The statement is not dated and the page numbers should be in the top right and written in the ...view middle of the document...

If the case goes to trial questions during cross examination will be asked to confirm who did or said what, given the passage of time that elapses before a case gets to trial this could be problematic if Karen and Jo cannot clearly remember the details and provide conflicting details.
The main body of the statement consists of two paragraphs, it is best practice to have a paragraph per activity or topic. Although, it is not a requirement to number paragraphs in criminal statements, it can be useful if when discussing cases with Counsel or giving evidence to identify a particular paragraph quickly.
The events in the statement are not in chronological order:-
(i) Karen states that she arrived at the CD stall at approx. 11.30, then says arrived at the market at 10.45. The statement needs to provide the events chronologically.

(ii) The statement says that the discs were placed in tamper sealed bags, the numbers written on the trader’s notice. Then states “before doing all this I listed the number of discs in each box on a Departmental Traders Notice Number 12393. Next paragraph then states upon completion of this task I handed the top copy as a receipt.
The events should have been detailed chronologically, this would make it easier to understand the events. The Witness Statement needs to be understood by the lawyers in the case and also by the jurors.
The statement should detail the issue, the fact and the opinion. Karen is making the statement as a professional, so opinion in her area of expertise is allowed.
The statement mentions that there are three persons with the name of Mr North and it is not apparent that Karen linked the bank statements in the name of John North related to Ron’s brother who was also present on the CD Stall.
Ron North stated that he was selling the discs for another person but would not name them, given the evidence of the cheques and bank statements (quoted the same account number), it is clear that John North would also be a person of interest in the enquiry.
It was not clear which Mr North was provided with the Departmental Traders Notice and this document was not named consistently in the Statement. In the circumstances, it would have been appropriate to provide all brothers with a copy of the notice and to get all of the brothers to sign.
The statement also generalised, stating that there were several documents appearing to be bank statements, quantities of CDRs and VCDs.
The statement should state the actual number of CDs, VCDs and the number of cheques.
The exhibit numbers detailed in the Statement are in the incorrect format, these only need to include Karen’s initials, e.g. KS/1.
Although the statement reads that Karen “was determined to seize the bank statements” it is unclear if this occurred as these have not been given an exhibit number.
The bank statements and cheques are key evidence in this case.
Using wording “I don’t believe any of his excuse as it all sounds too...

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