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Happy New Year

I hope you all had a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

I don't have anything particularly interesting to talk about at the moment, so I thought I'd take the chance to talk about what I got up to over the "break".

Most of my Xmas and New Year was spent drink driving... not me, but my clients.  I was on duty Xmas Day and had a couple of calls for drink drivers who were denying being the driver and who the police had decided to interview (no idea why since they hardly ever seem to interview them at any other time even when they do deny driving).

As a firm believer in seasonality I took the regular clamp down on drink driving as a chance to set up a little website to attract some more business, which didn't turn out so bad.  As a result I have been thinking quite a lot about drink driving this festive season, although I am quite please that none of my clients have actually managed to hurt anybody on the roads, unlike one chap I saw in court today who mowed a pedestrian down while both drunk and disqualified!

Aside from drink drivers I have also spent the break dealing with the other big Xmas past time - beating up your loved ones!  I've had about 6 domestic violence cases over the last week ranging form the moderately serious to the sort where I'm scratching my head as to why he was arrested, more about that in a moment.  Most of the cases were what you'd expect, a man assaulting his female partner - the most serious of which was a threat to choke the victim. 

All of them involved the same combination of triggers: 1. Close proximity for a long period or time; and 2. Lots and lots of booze, in fact so much booze that most of the clients (and complainants) were unable to give full accounts of what had happened.

One case is worth mentioning in the "I can't understand why he was arrested" category.  Police are called by a wife who says she's been assaulted by her husband.  Police arrive and the wife gives her account, which is that her husband had been in contact with his ex so the ex could have contact with their kids who live with him.  Current wife doesn't like this and says she flew off the handle and attacked her husband initially with fists and then when he put his hand up to ward off her blows she bit him.  Shortly after she told police that she threw a glass bottle at him, which broke a window.

He gave an identical account in all respects except he says she threw his mobile telephone, destroying it along with the window, and not a bottle.

For reasons I cannot fathom the police arrested him, held him in a cell for 14 hours and then interviewed him during which they asked virtually no questions.  He gave his account and the officer said, "that's what she told us", quickly read her account then ended the interview and NFA'd the case!


  1. Perhaps they thought that the two of them shouldn't be left together?
    although why they didn't arrest *her*... Could they have done so, if he didn't reuqest it / want to press charges?

    1. Assault is a criminal offence. My (lay) understanding is that that means it is a matter between the crown and the defendant. The victim isn't a party, so their wishes are of no legal consequence (although obviously without their testimony the trial won't last very long).

      Perhaps they thought he might have coerced her into changing her story before they arrived, and were expecting to get slightly different versions of a made up story. When they got the same version, they realised it must have been the truth.

    2. Bagpuss, yes they could have arrested her. The police don't need a complaint to have been made to arrest somebody providing the office has ground to believe a crime has taken place and arrest is necessary.

      Anon, I didn't get the impression from the officers that they were looking out for anything like that, but you do make a very good point.

    3. Without going into details, but similar circumstances, I asked the attending policeman why she was not arrested. His answer? 'Because she phoned us first'


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