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Vulnerable child abuse victims to be given pre-record option to give evidence

17th June 2013

In a bid to avoid the trauma sometimes caused by overly-aggressive barristers during cross examination, young or vulnerable adult victims and witnesses will be able to pre-record their evidence and cross-examination prior to the hearing and away from the demanding atmosphere of the court room.

Although judges are able to intervene in instances of particularly antagonistic cross examination, there is currently no limit to the number of lawyers who can address the victim or witness, and no limit to the amount of time they may be made to be on the stand while disclosing graphic details of the crime.

Solicitors for victims of child abuse have long campaigned for better protective measures for their clients, but despite the use of screens and video-links currently used in courts, some court attendees are still left traumatised by the experience.

The scheme will be trialled in Leeds, Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Thames initially, and, if successful and workable, it will then be rolled out across the country.

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