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GBH Section 20 moved to Section 4 public order offence...

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confused87 | 00:29 Fri 10th Jun 2011 | Criminal
11 Answers
Ok in my last post i explained what the whole situation was and i was on an alleged Gbh section 20 charge..

Today i returned for my Bail date when i was told I wasn't being charged for section 20 Gbh but now a section 4 public order offence...The Policeman told me due to only have got my details and there not being sufficiant evidence that it was me who caused the guys fractured jaw.However I am slightly confused as to why he said to me that if the other people on my team had being found and arrseted we would all be up for a GBH charge.. Now my question to this (irrevlevant now i no) Why would i be up for a charge just because you have arrested other people on the allegation? it still wouldnt have changed the fact that they didn't have enough evidence to prove it was or wasnt done in self defence.

Anyway im now due to go to court to be given a section 4... for allegedly swearing in an offensive manor towards the "Victim"... 2 thing i would like to no about this is:

A:will the "Victim" be at the court
B:If there is insufficiant evidence of me or anyone on the other allegation,how can they charge me for this allegation,I mean im expecting to go to court and they say to me did you swear in an offensive matter i say no...and theres yet again no proof ... surely a waste of everybodys time?

Anyway just one last thing...This is the first time iv ever been through anything like this and this has been the worst 6 months of my life,I think the whole system is Sugar and needs reviewing,they seem to want to get any little thing on me even though im innocent and for 1 reason only ... and thats I am not classed as the "victim" even though it was me who was attacked... Disgrace!!

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Hi

Do you know whether the victim is also being charged for the Sec 4 offence?

Were there any spectators at the match?
First, let's get it clear what you're now charged with:
Swearing at someone, per se, is not an offence.
Using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" becomes an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 when it's done "with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress"
However you've been charged under Section 4, which means that you're accused of using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour . . .with intent to cause that person to believe that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked".

So you've effectively been charged with 'threatening behaviour' or (for example) of using words which were intended to get the other guy to throw a punch at you.

What may, or may not, have gone on before that is irrelevant to the charge (although it could be relevant to any mitigation for sentencing). For (an extreme) example, if you'd just seen a guy rape your girlfriend and murder your children, and that guy was now coming aggressively towards you, if you shouted "Come on then, you stupid fu**er, do you want some?" you would be guilty of an offence under Section 4.

So you need to consider what you actually said. If (even if it didn't use a single swear word) it was said in order to make the guy think that you were going to assault him (or to goad him to attempt to assault you) you have no defence. You are guilty.

Otherwise, plead 'not guilty' and leave it to the CPS to try to prove the opposite.

Chris
Further . .

If you were to let the court know (through your solicitor) that you'd be pleading guilty, there would be no need for the 'victim' to be present. If you pleaded 'not guilty' it's likely that the 'victim' would be called to give evidence against you. However if there were CCTV cameras with sound (or half a dozen coppers who heard what you said) you could be convicted without the evidence of the 'victim'.

Chris
Hi

When i read your first post I had a feeling this would end up in a public order charge but I would have said several of those involved would be charged with the offence of affray.

Sec 4 is the lesser offence of the two and as Chris has explained you are basically accused of threatening behaviour and putting some one in fear of violence etc.

I find it unbelievable that the police are unable to identify your team mates and persons from the opposition but this may have worked to your advantage.
Question Author
Hi exdc,this is my point this was all started by this so called victim and hes mate... yet all hes crimes have seen to be left...it was at football match but no spectators (not that good sadly) but anyway in my statement to the police for the gbh charged i mentioned telling the group of men including the "victim" to flump off while they were surrounding my friend punching and kicking him.. so i don't see that as threatening the man its just swearing...something i hear our fine police force use daily..

But the cctv cameras are useless trust me and no sound can be recorded as they were so far away and there are about 300 people shouting during there seperate matches at one time..so there is no clear visual content nor any sound content...

so someone please explain to me how they could justify charging me with a section 4 .. with no evidence and why are they not persuing my side of the story of what the "victim" and friends did to me..

i have an example for you.. We see eachother in the street i tell you to f off or il bla bla bla... you get me arrested no cctv around just your word against mine,i say no i didn't you say i did ? i don't understand why they would waste court room time on something so stupid..

so say the supposed victim gets called were actually gonna embarrass ourselves saying he said this and he said that ... where both partys will simply deny all allegations.
Being charged does not mean you are guilty but it is considered by the CPS that there is sufficient 'admissible' evidence for this to likely result in a conviction.

Hopefully you have a solicitor or legal rep who can properly assess all the facts in this case and advise you accordingly. (if i recall there was a lot going on during this incident).
Question Author
yeah correct mate,ALOT! going on but i just want the whole thing over now iv had so many sleepness nights thinking im gonna be wrongly accused,thankfully this time justice prevailed and even though the poor guy whos jaw was fractured i won't be trying to get him arrested for what he did but maybe hes learned hes lesson not to start violence and grow up!
Yes it is annoying when people start trouble then run to the police. the police's hands are tied, once an allegation of this nature is electronically recorded then it has to be dealt with and some bureaucrat will demand a detection i.e a charge or caution.

Did you say you have a solicitor?
Question Author
Yes mate I have a solicitor,going to see him tomorrow to discuss this charge,would he be able to find out what supposed evidence the cps have seen to think they can actually win this case?

The only evidence i no they have so far is the "victim" and hes friend (the guy that hit me in the back of the head/trouble maker no.2) statements and thats it.. where as i just have me saying i didnt with none of my team mates wanting to me involved...
Yes now you have been charged your solicitor will receive the evidence of the case, known as advanced disclosure or similar.

Let us know how you get on.
Question Author
Will do mate.. I would like to say one more thing to anyone who reads this (wheather be it in 2-3 yrs time) this is a such a traumatic thing to go to and i really do think that we need to offer some sort of councelling to people going through this (the right kind of people obviously) and to give more infomation about this sorta thing...I hunted through post after post..website after website looking at what might happen to me if they got this wrong and iv never been so frightened in my life..what i also notice is how harsh some people are on matter such as this,all they see is some guy got hurt automatically poor him etc.. So who ever is reading this just stay relaxed as you can and hopefully you'l get the decision you deserve.

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