In a landmark court hearing, a two-year-old has testified against her abuser becoming the youngest person in the UK to testify in a criminal court case.
The man in question was sentenced to more than 10 months in prison for sexual offences against a child. The child and defendant cannot be named to protect the child’s identity.
The case has received much media coverage due to NSPCC campaign, they want to spread the message that abusers should not be so sure their victims will not give evidence against them.
This is the second high profile case of the year that praised the work of intermediaries. Earlier this year an intermediary helped a dying man testify against his Vicar, who had abused him when he was younger.
The vicar was found guilty of the charges and sentenced. However, on the day that the guilty charge was found, the police officer sent to inform the victim was met with the news that he had passed away.
In this case, the intermediaries had a challenging issue. The little girl was frightened and not accustomed to the adults in the room. She gradually opened up for the intermediary and using simple questions and a paper diagram, the intermediary was able to collate the evidence.
In another incident, the child became frightened of giving a mouth swab – so all the adults in the room pretended to play around with the cotton pads until she became comfortable and allowed someone to take one.
Going through the court proceedings can be gruelling for many victims and witnesses of a crime. The crown prosecution service ensured that the most venerable witnesses get the protection and safety they need to provide the best testimony.
In what ways can witnesses give evidence?
If you want to learn more about witness testimony head over to http://www.cps.gov.uk/victims_witnesses/going_to_court/vulnerable.html or if you wish to seek legal representation then call our team on 0116 2999 199.