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retracting statements made in police interview

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retracting statements made in police interview

Postby megaman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:49 pm

If a suspect makes a statement in police interview, on tape and having been given a caution - offered a solicitor ect.
and he later retracts this statement or otherwise says it is not true.

How do magistrates and judges acting in cases where the defendant has elected not to have a jury normally handle this?

Assume that it is not a case of saying something which can be verified
or saying something which gave the police a new line of inquiry which lead to other evidence.

Does it make any difference if it regards the action (actus reas) or mental (mens rea) portion of the offence?
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Re: retracting statements made in police interview

Postby Rick Ape » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:49 pm

I don't entirely follow your post so I may have the wrong end of the stick! But here's my best shot:

Any subsequent statement made by a suspect that contradicts anything he said following a properly administered caution may be the subject of an adverse inference by the court - whether it's a jury trial or not. This adverse inference can be made against either AR or MR, or both.
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/33/section/35
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Re: retracting statements made in police interview

Postby dls » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:34 pm

There is strong case law to support a requirement on courts to allow that there may be all sorts of reasons why a defendant may not tell the truth. Yes, the court may /must be much more cautious about a new version of events, but that it is allowed to draw an adverse inference does not mean that one must be drawn. The defendant may be able to give an entirely satisfactory explanation.
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Re: retracting statements made in police interview

Postby Rick Ape » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:02 pm

I fully concur that it is at the discretion of the court depending on the specifics. With hindsight I should have emphasised that adverse inferences **MAY** be applied.

There is also a raft of (mainly unreported) cases where they could have been, but were not, applied. I speak from personal experience, anecdotally and all points inbetween.
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