Criminal Evidence (Witness) Act 2008

Wednesday 14 April 2010 at 11:49 am | In News | Post Comment
Old Bailey
The Criminal Evidence (Witness) Act 2008 survived its first test when two amateur assassins were jailed for life for murder, last month. They gunned down a successful wheel clamping firm owner, Charles Butler outside his home.

The case hit complications following a ruling by the Law Lords which restricted anonymous witnesses. A CCTV system the victim had installed recorded the shooting.

Mr Butler’s wife and stepdaughter offered the men £5,000 to have him killed, claiming he had sexually abused the stepdaughter

Mr Butler remained alive in hospital for nine months before succumbing to his injuries.

Four witnesses had already given evidence from behind screens with their voices distorted, and the ensuing chaos caused the judge to stop the trial.

The legislation rushed through by Justice Secretary Jack Straw reintroduced witness anonymity which enabled a second trial to go ahead, but a deadlocked jury could only agree on convicting Johnson for perverting the course of justice.

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