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Perverting the Course of Justice

Perverting the Course of Justice is a criminal offence and is the act of doing something that interferes with the operation of the justice system.

If you have been charged with any Public Justice Offence you will need an experienced solicitor to assist with your defence. Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Public Justice Offences include:

  • Perverting the course of justice
  • Perjury
  • Intimidation of Witnesses or Jurors
  • Obstructing a Police officer
  • Wasting Police time

Perjury

Perjury is the deliberate act of swearing a false oath or falsifying the truth, either verbally or in writing. The crime of perjury is committed when:

  • a lawfully sworn witness or interpreter
  • in judicial proceedings
  • wilfully makes a false statement
  • which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, and
  • which is material in the proceedings.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment and/or a fine.

Perverting the course of justice

Perverting the course of justice is an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The offence is committed where a person:

  • does an act (a positive act or series of acts is required; mere inaction is insufficient)
  • which has a tendency to pervert and
  • which is intended to pervert
  • the course of public justice.

Intimidation of Witnesses or Jurors

Intimidation is defined as:
A person commits an offence when doing to another person:

  • an act which intimidates, and is intended to intimidate, that other person;
  • knowing or believing the other person is assisting in the investigation of an offence or is a witness/potential witness or a juror/potential juror in proceedings for an offence;
  • intending thereby to cause the investigation or course of justice to be obstructed, perverted or interfered with.

Obstructing a Police officer

The offence of obstructing a police officer is committed when a person:

  • wilfully obstructs
  • a constable in the execution of his duty, or
  • a person assisting a constable in the execution of the constable's duty.

It carries a maximum penalty of one month's imprisonment and/or a fine.

A person obstructs a constable if he prevents him from carrying out his duties or makes it more difficult for him to do so.

Examples of the type of conduct which may constitute the offence of obstructing a police officer include:

  • a witness giving a false name and address;
  • an occupier inhibiting the proper execution of a search warrant
  • warning a landlord that the police are to investigate after hours drinking;
  • warning that a police search of premises is to occur;
  • giving a warning to other motorists of a police speed trap ahead;
  • a motorist or 'shoplifter' who persists in giving a false name and address;
  • a partner who falsely claims that he/she was driving at the time of the accident but relents before the breathalyser procedure is undertaken;
  • refusing to admit constables into a house when there is a right of entry under the road Traffic Act 1988 (arrest for driving etc while unfit through drink or drugs).

Wasting Police time

The offence of wasting police time is committed when a person:

  • causes any wasteful employment of the police by
  • knowingly making to any person a false report orally or in writing tending to:
  • show that an offence has been committed; or,
  • give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property; or,
  • show that he has information material to any police inquiry.

If you have been arrested or charged with any of the above offences please contact me as soon as possible.

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