Postbag: Case for concern
I HAVE just read the report ( Officer attacked by woman who hid phone in knickers, January 25) and feel constrained to write to record my feelings of disappointment at the apparent unfairness of our justice system. The report itself was completely accura
I HAVE just read the report ("Officer attacked by woman who hid phone in knickers," January 25) and feel constrained to write to record my feelings of disappointment at the apparent unfairness of our justice system.
The report itself was completely accurate for the prosecution, the result of a disproportionate amount of time being allowed for the case to be presented on behalf of the police as against the defence.
I was in the visitors' gallery when the court was sitting and, rightly or wrongly, I had the distinct impression that a decision of guilty had been made long before anything was said on the defence side.
It was obvious that a great deal of time had been spent by the police interviewing prospective witnesses while Mrs Bootha-King was held at the police station making a written statement and, in the event, no time was allowed for her to speak to what she had written.
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There is no doubt that Mrs Bootha-King was guilty of lying about her use of the mobile phone.
But there is no explanation of why she reacted in such an extreme way if there had not been verbal racial abuse, as she claimed.
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I know this letter will not make the slightest difference to the outcome of the case, but ever since the court sitting I have had this niggling feeling that I must make my thoughts known in the interests of fair play.
Miss VALERIE LAWRENCE, Bexhill-on-Sea
Editor's note: The defendant's guilt had been established at previous hearings. She pleaded guilty to using a hand-held phone while driving and obstructing a police officer. She was convicted of assaulting the officer, which she had denied.