Giving evidence at Court – should I worry?

Lorna Wincote March 12, 2020

Anybody who has to appear at court and will be giving evidence is to some degree apprehensive about it.  Most of the time we can provide reassurance and a calming influence.  Sometimes it is clear that assistance is needed.  In those cases when a person giving evidence is obviously going to struggle to communicate an intermediary can help.

An intermediary can assist communication so that a person giving evidence is better able to do so and that a person better understands questions.

A jury will be told by the judge why an intermediary is needed and this means a jury will be aware of the difficulties somebody giving evidence has.  This is a good thing as the jury might otherwise make detrimental assumptions.  The judge would also tell the jury that the intermediary is independent and there to assist with communication including so that the jury understands the evidence being given.

Intermediaries can be appointed to assist prosecution witnesses but also to assist defendants and this includes giving evidence.  The higher courts have made things more difficult for intermediaries to be used for defendants but this is not something that daunts us.  If you feel you will struggle to understand and communicate we can consider obtaining reports to explain this to a court and we will work tirelessly to make sure that the evidence you give is the best evidence that you can give.  If this involves applying to use an intermediary then we will pursue this for you.

If you have any questions about giving evidence in court, please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0845 200 3367 or email to tuckers@tuckerssolicitors.com

Staff involved: