Forensic Linguistics Institute


Founded 1994


Help for defence barristers | Help for prosecutors


Help for defence barristers

In my experience the following areas are sometimes overlooked by busy advocates:

Have you checked the tape summary against the tape? I can help with this - it sometimes happens that a summary is either deliberately prejudicial or has prejudicial effect, i.e. it may be worded in a way which is disadvantageous to the defendant.

Have you looked closely at the statements in the case? Sometimes police officers copy from each other when they shouldn't, i.e. when CPS requests a second officer to produce a statement several months after arrest and the second officer copies from the first officer, possibly attempting to disguise any alterations.

Have you asked to see the police note-books (EABs)? In one case an officer had claimed to be present with other officers but was in fact on holiday in Spain.

Are several officers reporting exactly the same words? If the quotation is longer than six or seven words in length this is usually not possible - people do not remember what others say perfectly. Memory recall for language is very poor. The Ice-Cream Wars case illustrated that perfectly.

Are you challenging the admissibilty of confessions (oral or written) enough? I am very familiar with PACE requirements in this area and can assist.

I have given expert evidence on all of the above matters over the years. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.