Lancashire Police blasted for allegedly failing to supply medical evidence (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Lancashire Police blasted for allegedly failing to supply medical evidence
2:22pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A MAGISTRATE slammed police inaction as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’ after they allegedly failed to respond to requests for medical evidence made by the Crown Prosecution Service.
And Bob Irwin, sitting on the bench at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court, asked the prosecutor to raise the matter with the police as a matter of urgency.
The court heard Anthony Graham Liddiard, 26, had pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding Richard Croskell, causing him grievous bodily harm.
The case was adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report, but Colleen Dickinson-Jones, defending, asked for medical evidence to confirm Mr Croskell had sustained a fractured cheek as alleged by the prosecution.
Carl Gaffney, prosecuting at the latest hearing, dropped the wounding charge and a guilty plea was entered to the lesser charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
“He was initially charged with a Section 20 wounding on the basis the aggrieved had suffered a fractured cheek,” said Mr Gaffney.
“The file reveals three separate, urgent memos have been sent to the police asking for confirmation of the medical condition, or even that the aggrieved had rec-eived hospital treatment.
“A month down the line, we have no actual evidence of his injuries. It would be against the rules of natural justice to proceed with the more serious charge.”
Mr Irwin said he found it ‘unbelievable’ the police had failed to communicate with the prosecution over a serious matter.
“It is disgraceful,” said Mr Irwin.
“A Section 20 charge can send a man to prison for a long time, and for the defendant to have that hanging over him for such a long time is disgusting.”
Miss Dickinson-Jones told the court the probation service had been asked to prep-are a report on the basis that Liddiard was guilty of a Section 20 wounding offence.
“I would ask for the case to be adjourned again so the author of the report can re-visit it in the light of the correct charge to which my client has now pleaded,” said Miss Dickinson-Jones.