A more recent version of these Police Interview And Inferences From Silence notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Police interview and inferences from silence 1) Approach
a) What are the options available to the defendant?
1) No comment interview (silence)
2) Answer questions
3) Give a prepared statement and answer no comment in interview
b) What is the approach in analysing which option to recommend?
What is it?
It is the information that the police give to the defence solicitor before the interview
There is no automatic right to disclosure
Defendant does have right to see custody record (COP - Code of practice C 2.4) and the right to see the first description of any identification witness (COP D 3.1)
What impact will disclosure have upon the type of interview given?
a) Where the disclosure has been poor
This could be a reasonable ground on which to advise silence
b) Where the disclosure has been good
Might be advisable to advise to answer questions in order to refute the police's case and to prevent adverse inferences being drawn from defendant's silent
What is it?
It is the evidence, as disclosed, in relation to the elements of the offence under investigation
What analysis should you perform on evidence?
a) Look at the particular offence (e.g. s.1 Theft Act)
b) You should try and form a view as to how strong the case is against the suspect by looking at the elements of the offence
What impact will evidence have upon the type of interview given?
a) The evidence against the defendant is weak
More likely to give a no comment interview as may only lead to incriminating himself where the police are on a fishing expedition
b) Evidence against the defendant is strong
More likely to answer the questions
R v Roble - CoA held it would not be proper to draw inference under s.34 where there has been so little disclosure that a solicitor could not usefully advise the suspect
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