GBH section 20 without intent

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worriedfather | 13:16 Mon 14th Dec 2009 | Criminal
11 Answers

My son has just been charged with GBH Section 20 without intent which carries a custodial sentence and as such I am very concerned. He claims that he did not comit the offence and the only witnesses are from our family. However there is evidence in that the other person has a fractured Sinus tube above the eye and a doctor has stated a fist caused this.

The actual events were as follows:
My son and his friend fell out over a girl. My son stormed out of his friends home and walked home only for the other lad to chase him and words were said. The friend then called the police and sent them to our house at 5am on the basis he was concerned about my son.

A week later I found the friend loitering in the dark at the end of our garden. I asked him to appologise about the police. He then went to the house and insisted on seeing my son. My son wanted to avoid confrontation and jumped out of the window. My wife told him to leave but he wouldn't and she had to call my son to help. He forcefully removed him and the freind ran down the garden and past myself.

2 days later the parents come to our house accusing my son of assault. They constantly state that if we admit the offence the police would not be involved. My son denies it and is subsequently charged with GBH section 20.

My son has made a statement as per the above but has been told this is a 50:50 case and he could be given a custodial sentence. The main issue is how did the freind get his injury and the police keep going back to this.

We are very worried. How do you think we stand?


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Question Author
I forgot to mention, my wife saw no punches thrown whilst both were in the house. The freind is stating this incident happend in the back garden where I was and has stated I witnessed it, (which I didn't)
it's hard isn't it? Do you trust your son implicitly? when is the "victim" claiming the assault took place?
Question Author
He is claiming the assualt took place on the same night he visited our house. He is claiming it all happened in the back garden and that I was a witness.
I do trust my son, but I don't think the Police believe him and at the end of the day it is the legal system that will determine the outcome. Seems we are being put through hell over a girl freind jealosy issue.
With regards to "My son has made a statement as per the above but has been told this is a 50:50 case", who told him this?

Have you seeked legal aid?

A 50-50 case ? That's a reasonable doubt in itself ! Usual rule for prosecutors, 'in a fight, prosecute the one who hasn't complained of injury !' Get a solicitor before any next attendance for interview, he and you are not to make any admissions before that ( or at all to other parties e.g by offering to settle any claim ). And trust your son! If he's used reasonable force in self-defence against a real, or genuinely and reasonably feared, attack then and there, he's entitled to an acquittal. And remember the prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he did not act in self-defence, once he's raised the question and that becomes an issue (which will be done). .
Question Author
Thanks for all your replies so far.

My son has had support from the Duty Solicitor and the 50:50 statement was more of a throw away statement during a discussion I had with her afterwards. It does seem so unfair that my son is being prosecuted on the basis that another person just 'said he did it'.

I do trust and believe my son, and especially as myself and my wife were on the premises at the time, and were invovled at certain points. We all feel this is harrassment which has gone too far. I actually feel the freind is doing his best to get my son into as much trouble as possible. (If you re-read my opening statement, there is a piece in there where the freind called the police a week earlier seemingly out of concern, but I have my doubts).

It also transpires that this freind is on anti-depressants after making threats to comit suicide. Despite all this background, it still seems to be ourselves having to prove my son did not comit the offence.

As for legal support, do we continue with the 'Duty Solicitor' or do you think we should engage with another solicitor at this point?
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How long after the alleged incident took place did 'the friend' report it to the police? They may well question if he left it 2 or 3 days, why he waited and did not report it straight away.If there were no actual witnesses as to what happened, then it would be difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt. What's to say, if he waited two or three days, that he didn't get in a fight with someone else or got someone to punch him to make it look like your son did it.
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These answers are starting to make me feel better. We have also found out that the 'freind' has been on anti-depressants and has been heard stating that he wants to comit suicide.

I will put my faith in the law and stop worrying.
Question Author

I still need some more advise. The duty solicitors also seems to be quite a comprehensive solicitor firm who deal with such cases, so we are tempted to stay with this company for continuity, but I am still unsure if we are getting the correct advise.

To date, the police have taken the other persons statement, his parents statement and my sons, but they have not asked my wife nor myself for a statement despite us being at the scene during a good part of the allegation. The Solicitor has said that we should just sit tight until the Police descide on the charges.

I just feel that if the Police heard our side, this may influsence their decision on how to proceed.

Should we just sit tight, or should we be pursuing this with the police and forcing our statement on them?

There seems to be no clarity on this.
Question Author
OK, this has moved forward and my son has now been charged with GBH and is due to attend Magistrate Court next week. We are still very confused and concerned and cannot understand how my son could be charged if the only witnesses (myself and my wife) have stated that the allegation did not happen.

Will it just be a case of my son's word agains the others in court? Seems to me that the person who is most likely to win is the person who impresses the Jury/Judge the most (or am I being too negative).

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GBH section 20 without intent

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