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Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby atticus » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:48 pm

Or is it that they will only prosecute in such instances?
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby TenaciousB » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:41 pm

atticus wrote:Or is it that they will only prosecute in such instances?


To quote the CPS.
"No offence of perjury has been committed simply because the charge of perjury only applies when evidence is given orally in a court hearing."
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby Maz JP » Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:59 pm

I knew I had read something about this recently.

From last year...

A police officer "deliberately lied" in a witness statement claiming a man had behaved in an "extremely abusive" way, a court has heard.

PC David Norman, 52, of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, made the false statement after being called to a dispute between neighbours in Milford Haven. Swansea Crown Court heard he was "caught out" by a CCTV recording. He denies carrying out an act tending or intending to pervert the course of justice.

The court heard PC Norman, who worked for Dyfed-Powys Police, arrested the man for a public order offence on 21 January, 2016. He later wrote a statement saying he had became "extremely abusive, shouting and screaming" and was swearing. But John Hipkin, for the prosecution, said PC Norman was "caught out" because the man had CCTV on his house which recorded images and sound and showed he spoke only in a normal voice.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-38647333

He was incidentally found not guilty.
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:56 pm

The Perjury Act 1911 wrote:1 Perjury.
(1)If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding wilfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment ... for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.
(2)The expression “judicial proceeding” includes a proceeding before any court, tribunal, or person having by law power to hear, receive, and examine evidence on oath.
(3)Where a statement made for the purposes of a judicial proceeding is not made before the tribunal itself, but is made on oath before a person authorised by law to administer an oath to the person who makes the statement, and to record or authenticate the statement, it shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as having been made in a judicial proceeding.


It seems to me that a statement need not be given orally but has to be given under oath. Otherwise, as stated above, it may be perverting the course of justice (for which the maximum penalty is life, and therefore not to be sneezed at), or a contempt of court.
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby dls » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:06 am

One consequence of the movement away from unpublicised court proceedings is that contempt of court cases are ow almost universally publicised. There are more than one might expect.
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby shootist » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:12 am

Maz JP wrote:He was incidentally found not guilty.


I'd love to know how the hell he managed that, if the report has any basis in fact.

After a bit of digging I discovered that the jury failed to reach a verdict. A retrial is expected, the date booked for 15 May. I would suspect that had the falsely accused man not had CCTV evidence he would have been sunk without trace.
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby Maz JP » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:29 pm

shootist wrote:I'd love to know how the hell he managed that, if the report has any basis in fact.
.

Do remember that the report I quoted was only summarising the prosecution case. In very many situations when a case has reached that point I can find myself thinking "How on earth will they have a defence to that?" only to find all of that seemingly-certain prosecution case beginning to unravel rapidly as the defence lawyer begins his work.

Thanks for the update : I'll keep an eye out for the retrial....
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby TenaciousB » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:16 pm

What's the threshold for a prosecution of "perverting the course of justice"?
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Re: Penalty for lying on a witness statement?

Postby atticus » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:22 pm

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