Who Needs A Jury?

Ah, land of my ancestry, what is happening to you?

A yob accused of robbing a driving instructor walked free from court after a judge ruled his alleged victim was ‘too believable’ to give evidence.

Mother-of-two Denise Dawson, 36, was praised for being ‘honest, utterly decent and brave’ when she testified against Liam Perks, 20.

But the trial was stopped on the first day because Judge Jamie Tabor QC ruled her good character may unfairly sway the jury against the defendant.

He decided that her solitary, split-second identification of the man accused of robbing her was simply not enough.

So why let justice be served? Why not instead rule that her testimony as to what happened to her and as to who actually did it may be damaging to the defendant’s case and bar her from testifying?

Judge Tabor said he feared the upstanding member of the community might just sway the jury in a case where the evidence fell short.

He told Bristol Crown Court: ‘Denise Dawson was a particularly impressive witness because she showed courage, clarity of thought and was undoubtedly honest.

‘The jury may lend more weight to her evidence than her facts allow. You cannot be sure she got it right.

You can’t be sure she got it wrong either, can you? That’s why they let juries decide such things. Well, at least they used to.

‘Had this been the Archbishop of Canterbury’s son, would I have allowed (the trial) to go on? The answer is no.’

Sounds like open season on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s son and all “upstanding citizens” who show “courage, clarity of thought” and who are “undoubtedly honest”.


[Crossposted at QandO]

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