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  • FIRST POST
    • missile
    • By missile 17th Apr 17, 1:43 PM
    • 8,732Posts
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    missile
    disCOURTeous
    • #1
    • 17th Apr 17, 1:43 PM
    disCOURTeous 17th Apr 17 at 1:43 PM
    Hi,

    I witnessed an incident, reported it to the Police and gave a witness statement.
    I received a citation from CPFS, instructing me to attend no later than 09.30. I duly attended @ 09.20on the appointed day to be told you are very early. The court doesn't open until 10.00.
    At 11.30, I was told that the case had been cancelled as defendant's solicitor had not turned up. No apology for my wasted appearance.
    I have received another citation giving a new court date, when I shall be on holiday. The paperwork tells me that
    I must submit evidence that I have a holiday booked for consideration by CPFS. Only if they give permission will I be excused and if I do not appear a warrant will be issued for my arrest.
    I appreciate that it is important, but stating I am on holiday should be good enough. I object to being required to give evidence to prove I am not being dishonest and the threatening tone of their communication.

    What would happen if I had no evidence to give? For example, if I was attending a funeral, going camping/ caravanning or had arranged to stay with a friend or relative in the UK.

    I now understand why Joe Public are often deaf, dumb and blind and walk on by when they witness an incident.
    Last edited by missile; 17-04-2017 at 3:30 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 18th Apr 17, 8:41 AM
    • 17,926 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:41 AM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 17, 8:41 AM
    Hi,



    What would happen if I had no evidence to give? For example, if I was attending a funeral, going camping/ caravanning or had arranged to stay with a friend or relative in the UK.
    Originally posted by missile
    There's evidence that a funeral is taking place, and your other examples sound to me like things that could be cancelled or rearranged if necessary.
    • missile
    • By missile 18th Apr 17, 10:35 AM
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    missile
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:35 AM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:35 AM
    There's evidence that a funeral is taking place, and your other examples sound to me like things that could be cancelled or rearranged if necessary.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    What evidence would I have of a funeral:
    A cutting from the local paper?
    How could I "prove" I was attending?
    Of course ANY holiday could be cancelled.

    You appear to have missed the point. By being discourteous CPFS have made it less likely that I will volunteer to be a witness in the future.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • flashg67
    • By flashg67 18th Apr 17, 9:47 PM
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    flashg67
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 9:47 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 17, 9:47 PM
    I see what you're saying - having to jump through (their) hoops to do your civic duty does seem a pain, nut I bet plenty of the court's time is wasted by people not bothering to turn up , so we're all tarred with the same brush. I'm sure evidence of a 'proper' holiday will be accepted if needed.

    You sound a fair person, hope you get it sorted, I'm sure someone appreciates the effort - it could be you or someone you know next time!
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 18th Apr 17, 9:54 PM
    • 2,575 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 9:54 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 17, 9:54 PM
    Perhaps they could arrest the defendant's solicitor for not turning up? The solicitor could just as easily arranged matters to be there as you can rearrange your holiday.
    • missile
    • By missile 18th Apr 17, 10:56 PM
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    missile
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:56 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 17, 10:56 PM
    Thanks for your sympathetic responses.

    The police have a difficult job and I was happy to assist them. If I witness a similar incident tomorrow, I am not so sure I would be that good Samaritan.

    What really irked me was the attitude of CPFS.

    It is not their fault the defendants solicitor did not show. I appreciate their time is valuable (as is mine!) but I felt they could have spared a minute to explain why the case was cancelled and thank me for my attendance.

    As it happens, we intend going on holiday with six other couples. We have been planning this re-union for some time and it will be very annoying if I have to cancel.

    No doubt if convicted, the defendant will get probation.
    Last edited by missile; 18-04-2017 at 10:58 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • patman99
    • By patman99 18th Apr 17, 11:16 PM
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    patman99
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 11:16 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 17, 11:16 PM
    Submitt the holiday evidence and ask if any costs incurred if the CPS refuse to allow you to take the holiday can be claimed back from the Court.

    Or, ask if you can appear via Skype (or Google Hangouts, facetime, etc.) as some Courts will allow this.
    Never Knowingly Understood.

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    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 19th Apr 17, 8:08 AM
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    hollydays
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:08 AM
    • #8
    • 19th Apr 17, 8:08 AM
    Usually when you make a statement you are asked to highlight any dates you won't be available, ( " witness availability" on the back of the statement? From memory) and sign the form to say this is correct? If there was any proposed changes you should have let the police know, or actually checked the dates were compatible.
    Last edited by hollydays; 19-04-2017 at 9:23 AM.
    • missile
    • By missile 19th Apr 17, 10:13 AM
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    missile
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:13 AM
    • #9
    • 19th Apr 17, 10:13 AM
    The citation asks you to advise dates if you know you when you will not be available for the next six months, which I did.

    FYI: It is CPFS not the Police and there is no mechanism to advise later changes.

    There were others who witnessed the incident but I was the only one who chose to volunteer to be a witness. No good deed goes unpunished
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 19th Apr 17, 8:49 PM
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    hollydays
    The citation asks you to advise dates if you know you when you will not be available for the next six months, which I did.

    FYI: It is CPFS not the Police and there is no mechanism to advise later changes.

    There were others who witnessed the incident but I was the only one who chose to volunteer to be a witness. No good deed goes unpunished
    Originally posted by missile
    There is a mechanism-you speak to the police officer who took your statement or you could have contacted the cps direct. In addition you could have contacted the witness support service for advice if unsure, or even rang your local police service. y
    It's your duty to give evidence if at all possible, not a favour you are doing them.
    Last edited by hollydays; 19-04-2017 at 8:53 PM.
    • Lavendyr
    • By Lavendyr 19th Apr 17, 9:11 PM
    • 2,018 Posts
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    Lavendyr
    Sometimes amazes me how sanctimonious people can be. I'd be as frustrated as you in this situation OP. I wish I could be of help but all I can offer is sympathy!
    • missile
    • By missile 19th Apr 17, 10:41 PM
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    missile
    Sometimes amazes me how sanctimonious people can be. I'd be as frustrated as you in this situation OP. I wish I could be of help but all I can offer is sympathy!
    Originally posted by Lavendyr
    Unfortunately this forum attracts trolls.
    Thanks your comment, it means more to me than you know
    Last edited by missile; 19-04-2017 at 10:49 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 20th Apr 17, 6:55 AM
    • 2,532 Posts
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    JReacher1
    It's inconvenient but at the end of the day i would say giving evidence in a court case is more important than a holiday.

    The defendants future may depend on the evidence you present in court and it seems slightly ridiculous that whether he is found guilty or innocent may depend on whether you are on holiday or not!
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 20th Apr 17, 1:02 PM
    • 5,323 Posts
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    Tiddlywinks
    Unfortunately this forum attracts trolls.
    Thanks your comment, it means more to me than you know
    Originally posted by missile
    The fact that someone has given an opinion which is different to your view does NOT make them a troll.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 20th Apr 17, 3:27 PM
    • 17,089 Posts
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    Pollycat
    Do you actually have proof that this holiday is booked?
    If so, just submit the proof they ask for.

    If it's still in the planning stage, it's a bit more complicated but I would write telling them it's an arrangement that involves 6 other couples & that you advised them that you would be unavailable on specific dates - including the new trial date.

    TBH, if I'd made myself available for a trial that was postponed through no fault of mine and had told them I was unavailable because of a holiday (that might have cost £thousands), I'd be somewhat miffed too.
    • missile
    • By missile 20th Apr 17, 3:37 PM
    • 8,732 Posts
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    missile
    Thanks, please be advised:
    After the first trial date was cancelled, I did contact CPFS to advise them that I had a holiday booked. They ignored my communication and sent me the second citation. I have responded and sent them proof that I have a holiday booked and await their response.
    Last edited by missile; 20-04-2017 at 3:49 PM.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 20th Apr 17, 6:17 PM
    • 15,188 Posts
    • 10,980 Thanks
    hollydays
    Thanks, please be advised:
    After the first trial date was cancelled, I did contact CPFS to advise them that They ignored my communication and sent me the second citation. I have responded and sent them proof that I have a holiday booked and await their response.
    Originally posted by missile
    So what you are saying is you contacted them -and they responded.

    Personally I'd have rung them. You've not said what the timescale was.
    The message that you may have received i.e. " could be arrested " etc is a standard message .You are a small cog in a big criminal justice wheel.

    It could help to protect people who have been intimidated, so it's very clear.

    When you are dealing with the Crown it's very standard.
    Until the case has reached court , you are bound by the rules of the court and the Crown.

    In this case, I do think there should have been some contact from the police or cps to say
    " the case has been postponed , do you have any more dates",
    Because I think the average person doesn't unnecessarily understand the seriousness , and expense, of being involved in a court case.
    It is a case of when they say ' jump' you jump That's what being a witness involves.

    I don't really get what you are so offended about.

    If you felt the initial hearing was discourteous , you should have spoken to the court clerk.

    As for being a troll-I've been a witness a number of times with various jobs.The court has to be afforded a great deal of respect.
    Last edited by hollydays; 20-04-2017 at 7:30 PM.
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 21st Apr 17, 12:03 PM
    • 4,371 Posts
    • 6,877 Thanks
    Gavin83
    I now understand why Joe Public are often deaf, dumb and blind and walk on by when they witness an incident.
    Originally posted by missile
    Agreed. Can't understand why anyone would wish to be a witness given the inconvenience and potential personal risk someone takes doing so. Doesn't make it any better when the person is then given a lenient sentence.

    As for the person suggesting being a witness is more important than a holiday, that depends on your perspective. I'd certainly be a bit upset if I was negatively financially impacted for carrying out my civic duty.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 21st Apr 17, 12:24 PM
    • 15,023 Posts
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    pinkshoes
    I feel for you OP! You try and do the right thing but feel like you are being treated like cr*p!

    The time wasted in courts is shocking!

    I did jury service a few years ago, and there was SO much of our time wasted. We were delayed 4 hours one day as they forgot to transport the prisoner to the court!!

    Not to mention the costs of translators etc...

    You have provided a written statement, so if you cannot attend, then they will just have to use that and read it out. Or tell them to set up a conference call so you can attend via video link!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • ThumbRemote
    • By ThumbRemote 21st Apr 17, 12:54 PM
    • 3,770 Posts
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    ThumbRemote
    They'll plead guilty at the last minute, so you won't actually be needed anyway.
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