What would you do?

Having just read a set of case papers, I was struck by the reaction of one witness to what he describes as a group of 3 men and a woman viciously attacking a lone man on the street outside his home.

Let's imagine that you wake up in the early hours to see a man taking a serious beating on your doorstep, do you:

1. Watch for 10 minutes;
2. Find your iPhone and video the attack;
3. Hide so that the attackers don't see you at the window; or
4. Call the police.

In this case the man did the first three.  He watched for ten minutes then when a break in proceedings came along he found his iPhone and videoed part two taking care to hide so he wasn't seen. 

At no time did he think to call for help.


  1. Not on the same scale as this, but I was left with a similar feeling of 'why did nobody bother to help' trying to leave a supermarket a while ago. After filling the car with freezer items, I departed the parking space only to find the whole carpark log-jammed. Slowly we all inched towards the exit and one car at a time squeezed out onto the main road.

    After an hour I got to the exit to find the cause of the problem. An old chap had broken down in the middle of the traffic lights, this had brought all 3 directions governed by the lights to a standstill.

    I simply hopped out the car, check he was OK then pushed his car out of the junction, up onto the pavement and freed up the junction. I could not believe that no one else has seen fit to help this old gent and would rather sit with ice-cream slowly defrosting than get out and help.

    After this the roads cleared like pulling a plug out of the sink. I drove off with a wave to the chap and saw the RAC van heading in his direction. But, looking back I find it hard to believe that for an hour people were happy to let this chap just sit there and simply squeeze on by.

  2. I wonder why people are scared to get involved any more? What profession is to blame?

  3. I don't know Jaded, which profession is to blame? I can't imagine why you'd be scared to call the police but not scared to video the incident.

  4. Probably a rhetorical question above I assume?
    The profession that has "no win no fee" as its slogan?.
    Calling the police makes you a witness in any possible criminal trial where you can get ripped apart in the box.Simply filming means showing your mates down the pub or posting on you tube.Or if it's really good it could go on "you've been framed".

  5. Jade is right - the balance has shifted to the point where the risks of 'doing the right thing' are too high in many parts of the country. why? largely due to the legal system and the legal professions treatment of witnesses, and the states inability to protect witnesses outside court.

  6. If you seriously think that calling the police is too risky but filming a violent incident is okay then it really isn't lawyers who have the problem.. it is you!

    In any case, no win no fee has bugger all to do with criminal law! If you want a criminal defence lawyer and you don't qualify for legal aid then you can pay for it or go with out!

    If you are telling the truth then it's pretty difficult to rip a witness to shreds!


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