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Interviews and Evidence 1) Interviews The purpose of an interview is the gather evidence so the suspect can either be charged with an offence or let off. The definition of an INTERVIEW Code C 11.1A of PACE:
The questioning of a person regarding their involvement or suspected involvement in a criminal offence, which under paragraph 10.1, must be carried out under caution.
The following provisions apply:
COP C 11.1A - the interview must be carried out under caution
Must be carried out at a police station (unless COP C 11.1(a)-(c) applies, which is very rarely).
COP C 11.2 - prior to the commencement of the interview, the suspect should be reminded of their right to legal advice o
Under s.58 PACE the suspects legal representative may be present
COP C 11.7 - an accurate record must be made of the interview The suspect's right to silence
* Any suspect has the right to silence.
However, if a suspect exercises the right and then raises a defence at trial, s.34 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 allows for an adverse inference to be drawn by the jury/magistrates regarding the reasons why he didn't offer the explanation at the time of questioning. o
s.34 - Adverse inference can only be drawn if the suspect was reasonably expected to have mention a defence when so questioned.
Ultimately, this may undermine his defence.
Inferences can ALSO BE DRAWN under: o
s.36 CJPOA - the suspect fails to account for an object, mark, substance found on him at time of arrest
s.37 CJPOA - the suspect fails to account for his presence at a particular place at time of offence
s.38 CJPOA - a defendant cannot be convicted solely on the basis of adverse inference.
NB: no adverse inference can be drawn where the suspect has not been allowed access to legal advice - Code C para 6.6 and Annex C. Necessary conditions Break down s.34:
1. Caution - if there is no caution then no inference can be drawn (caution in Code C paragraph 10.5)
2. Facts later relied upon;
3. In the circumstances existing at the time, the accused could REASONABLY have been expected to mention them
What is 'reasonable'?
A number of factors can be considered:
DISCLOSURE: the information the police give to the defence solicitor before the interview. If nothing/very little is disclosed, a solicitor may advise the right to silence is best as he can hardly advise his client.
EVIDENCE: the quality of evidence against the suspect is crucial.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEFENDANT: consider the factors in R v Argent considering the circumstances as they existed at the time: o o
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