Can i withdraw a witness statement?

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Bearaz | 17:35 Tue 01st Apr 2008 | Law
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I recently witnessed a minor having sexual intercourse in a car with an 18year old, I made a statement to the police and have since had things thrown in my garden, i have 2 very young children and my husband has recently come out of hospital after his second nervous breakdown. The police just say unless you actually witness who is causing damages to the property they can't do anything. I have been through a court case before and had to move away from where i grew up due to witness intimidation!! Is there any way i can withdraw my statement or the police can use my statement and keep me anonymous?
Please help as i don't know what to do as it is making my husbands condition worse.


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using your statement and keeping you anonymous wont work will it?
Yes you can withdraw a statement. Happens all the time, particularly in domestic violence cases. Just telephone the Police Assistance Desk (not 999) and give them the brief details of the case and the investigating officer's PIN number (you'll find this on your copy of the statement). The investigating officer (or another officer) will have to see you again and you'll have to make another statement (a withrawal statement). On this statement you say why you want to withraw from the matter. The officer will initially probably try to talk you out of making a withdrawal but must allow you to do so if you insist.
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There is more than one witness and i wasn't sure if they could not state my name in court so the suspect wouldn't know it was me!!
In addition, if you feel that you want to continue with your original statement but think you'll suffer more intimidation, there are methods in place to help you give evidence. For example, you may be able to give your evidence via a video link (so you don't actually have to stand up in the witness box) or you may be able to give your evidence from behind a screen (ie. anonymously). However, if you believe that the person in question is harassing you, it's fair to assume that they already know you're involved in the case so any measure put in place now will not protect your identity. If this matter is affecting you or your partner's health, I would recommend that you make a withdrawal statement as described above.
but the suspect already knows it's you dont they? after all if you are attributing what has happened to what you said n your statement, how will withdrawing it help? The perpetrator wont know youve withdrawn, especially if there are other witnesses.

it seems strange to me that seemingly more than one person was standing round watching close enough to witness that intercourse took place, through a car window as well!
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It was out the front of my house my husband and i were in the kitchen and could see them through the window, my next door neighbour also saw them, this is one of many sexual things that happened outside my house regarding the perpetrator. If i withdraw my statement i do think i will be left alone.
It sounds like you should have learnt your lesson after having to move away the last time you meddlesd in someone's affairs.

Basically, if you spend all day snooping through your curtains, you shouldn't be surprised by what you see.

I suggest you withdraw your statement and mind your own business in future. I belive peeping toms can now get counselling - ask your local GP.
Well why don't they do it in front of your house Mamjet and see how you like it?

Bearaz, borrow a camcorder and film these people. Use that as proof against these scum.
Mamjet - are you suggesting that members of the public, should not speak to the police when they witness a criminal act taking place? Should they turn away, avert their eyes and pretend it's not happening? In case you hadn't noticed, this site is called The Answer Bank. 'Answer' being the operative word. If it was called The Critisise Bank then 99% of your posts would be valid. However, it is not and as such I fail to see why you frequent this site when the only comments you seem to make are ad hominem attacks on the questioner or other people trying to help.
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Mamjet - The reason i went to court in the past was due to a my sister being abussed as a child by our step father, i was not peeping as you suggested i was cooking dinner in my kitchen and could see them straihght through the window!! But if you saw a 13year old having sex with a man surely you would report it i have a daughter myself and would be horrified if someone saw my daughter having sex with a man and nobody did anything about it!!! But now i am having all the repurcusions, please don't critsize me and call me a peeping tom as the last thing i was doing was peeping!!! Obviously you don't have any young female relations to understand!!!!!
Why not close the curtains when cooking dinner then?
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How many people do you know that have curtains in there kitchen??? It was 5pm and why should i have to close curtains in my home it shouldn't of happened at all let alone in full view of all the neighbours!!!!!
if it was in full view of the neighbours it's funny how you're the only one taking it to court.

Or maybe none of your neighbours have as good binoculars as you were using?
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If you read the above you will see that there is more than one witness taking it to court!!! Why should you have the right to critisize me or perhaps you think a 13 year old child should be allowed to have sex with a man?????
Bearaz - I wouldn't engage in posts with Mamjet if I were you. His or her sole purpose on this site is to post facetious 'answers' and insult people. He/she never offers any constructive advice and should be ignored.
Birdie, I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with you. Once you have made a statement you cannot withdraw it, you can only provide a further statement saying that you no longer wish to give evidence and stating your reasons. This will then be forwarded to the CPS who will consider whether there is a realistic prospect of conviction without the said statement.

If the offence is serious enough (which it seems to be in this case) and is a public interest case (as sexual offences generall are under CPS guidelines) CPS may well consider proceeding with the case using the statement. If this is the case and Bearaz refuses to attend court then a witness summons can be issued against her and she can be arrested and taken to court. Obviously when at court she can refuse to actually take the stand but then could be found in contempt of court.

Birdie is correct regarding the special measures that can be provided at court ie screens etc, but a screen does not offer anonymity, it only hides you from the Defendant and your name will still be called in court. Generally the only people who are ever given complete anonymity in court are undercover police officers and such. Even 'supergrasses' as such give there own name whilst giving evidence before then entering the witness protection programme once the trial has finished.


Anyway, my advice to you Bearaz is to contact the OIC and tell him/her your concerns. You can provide a statement asking for your evidence not to be used but there is no guarantee the CPS will agree. It is not a decision that the police can make. Your local police station should be able to increase the patrols in your area (although this does not mean they'll be parked on your doorstep every day). If you have real concerns then I suggest buying/borrowing a camcorder and trying to obtain footage of the persons responsible for the damage of your property so that you have the evidence to present the police with so that they can arrest the persons responsible and investigate whether any offence has been committed.

I'm sorry my advice is probably not what you wanted to hear but as I work in the Homicide Team in my Force area, I can guarantee it is accurate!
Wonderous - I agree that the CPS could issue a witness summons whether or not she makes a retraction statement. However, in this case it seems that the 'victim' will be unwilling to give evidence against her sexual partner. By intimidating a witness, she clearly doesn't want this matter to go any further. Without evidence from the victim, I don't see how the CPS could proceed as it will be her word against the witnesses - unless the male admits to the offence. Your reply was absolutely correct though!
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Birdie - you are correct the victim is not willing to admit that the sexual act took place, when i rang the police station last week the OIC wasn't there but another officer told me that the OIC would have to take a retraction statement from me, when i eventually got hold of the OIC he said the only way i could retract my statement was if it was a lie and then i would be done for wasting police time!! I tried to explain to him that i wasn't happy with the situation and he said to leave it with him as they would be arresting the suspect in the next couple of days. I now know the suspect has been arrested and tried to get hold of the OIC again and he's on annual leave for 3 weeks!! Is it true that if i did go to court i can say no comment??? I think that it is wrong that the police don't really offer any support at all and this is what bothers me more than anything, all they want is to get a conviction, at the end of the day it's not them who have to live with all the aftermath!!!!!!
You can't say 'no comment' in the witness box. Well, you could but as Wonderous pointed out, you could be found in contempt of court. However, as I said before, unless the perpetrator admits the offence, which I think is unlikely, then without a complaint from the victim I don't see how this case is going anywhere. Unfortunately I agree that sometimes the CPS do press on with cases with little concern for the quality of life of the witness.

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