ADMISSION OF GUILT DEEMED INADMISSIBLE
Updated: Jun 28
The most common advice given by criminal solicitors is to not speak with the Police and to not participate in an interview process. However, pressure is often applied, and Defendants want their side of the story to be heard. Inevitably clients will sometimes participate in Police interviews against their lawyer’s advice.
Police interviews are often detrimental to a client’s Defence, and we recently dealt with a matter where, despite our client vehemently denying the allegations, he decided to participate in an interview and after an hour of questioning, he made admissions to the offending.
Despite these admissions, there were several failures by the Police to adhere to their requirements under the Police Powers & Responsibilities Act. After lengthy negotiations and research, we were able to have the District Court deem the Record of Interview inadmissible.
Our client denied any offending for the majority of the interview, however the Police began to mount pressure and after about an hour, they made promises to our client, telling him that “now was the best time to explain his story”.
The Police went on to give our client legal advice and said to him that if he did not confess what he had allegedly done, there was a possibility he could be charged with more serious allegations.
This ultimately resulted in a vulnerable young man, with English as his second language, being induced into making a confession to the Police.
The 2-hour interview was littered with non-compliance by the Police. Despite his requests, our client was denied access to a support person, and an interpreter was not provided even though he clearly had difficulty understanding certain English words. Had he had access to a support person or interpreter, he may not have confessed at all and would have been unlikely to have even participated in the interview.
The culmination of all the Police’s improprieties led to a finding that the interview could not be treated as reliable, and therefore would be prejudicial to our client if it were to be used during his trial.
Whilst we were successful in having this evidence dismissed, the longstanding advice of criminal solicitors holds true – even if your client has nothing to hide, it is usually best to advise them not to participate in a Police interview – and if they decide to anyway, make sure they have a lawyer by their side.
The only things a suspect is required to tell the Police is their name and address.
If you or someone you know have been asked to talk to the Police, please contact the Crime and Misconduct Team at Creevey Russell Lawyers as soon as possible.