Author Topic: Bad Character Evidence  (Read 1530 times)

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Offline Nine of Nine

Bad Character Evidence
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:08:29 PM »
Trying to understand Bad Character Evidence and how it gets introduced into a court case is quiet mind boggling...

In the case of Dr Vincent Tabak, there was No introduction of Bad Character Evidence, which would support any claims that the prosecution maintained about the defendant.

I keep scrutinising the CPS pages to see if I comprehend what happened and as to WHY they never introduced such evidence..

It's the old QUESTION about the PORN.... I have tried to determine when it was first argued in court and I can never quiet work it out...

It was never in the 1300 page Document, I am convinced of that... It''s knowing when the 1300 hundred page document was constructed,..NOW that would help..

The Definition of Bad Character:
Quote
]Definitions
"Bad character" in criminal proceedings means "evidence of or a disposition towards misconduct" (section 99 Criminal Justice Act 2003). Misconduct means the commission of an offence or other 'reprehensible conduct' (section 112 Criminal Justice Act 2003.) This definition applies to both defendants and non-defendants.


Dr Vincent Tabak had never committed any offence not so much as a parking ticket, so the part of the commission of an Offence doesn't apply...

The misconduct could be seen the unproven and unused evidence of Dr Vincent Tabak's sexual preferences and use of prostitutes and services...

But when read again it isn't that... Is the watching of porn or the use of prostitutes in LAW reprehensible conduct????  (IMO) I don't believe so!

For the prostitutes to be introduced into evidence, I am under the impression that Dr Vincent Tabak would have had to of had a conviction for the use of such services and he hasn't.... If I am incorrect on this, please someone correct me..

Because if they had the prostitutes on the stand as a witness to Dr Vincent Tabak's sexual preferences, you would then bring to the table the prostitutes Bad Character...

Quote
Reprehensible conduct" should be looked at objectively taking account of whether the public would regard such conduct as reprehensible such as racism, bullying, a bad disciplinary record at work for misconduct; a parent who has had a child taken into care and of course minor pilfering from employers. Conduct that should not be regarded as reprehensible could include consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex. The term 'reprehensible conduct' will avoid arguments about whether or not conduct alleged against a person amounted to an offence where this has not resulted in a charge or conviction.

So within this statement the answer lies:

Quote
Conduct that should not be regarded as reprehensible could include consensual sexual activity between adults of the same sex.

And that would then also apply to consenting adults were payment has taken place (IMO) I cannot see unless a person has a conviction for such activities as it being classed as reprehensible.

So what excludes Bad Character Evidence ????
Quote
Exclusions
Evidence of bad character expressly excludes:

evidence which has to do with the alleged facts of the offence with which the defendant is charged (section 98(a) Criminal Justice Act 2003); and
evidence of misconduct in connection with the investigation or prosecution of that offence (section 98(b) Criminal Justice Act 2003). Evidence of misconduct in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the charge such as: evidence of resisting arrest by running away to imply an acknowledgement of guilt remains admissible outside the hearsay provisions.

Evidence which has to do with the alleged facts of the case????

As Joanna Yeates was not Sexually Assaulted I cannot comprehend how the accusation of Dr Vincent Tabak watching the Strangulation Porn would be relevant.. As it wasn't ever established that a SEXUAL ACT had taken place!!!  So that becomes NONE EVIDENCE (IMO) The Porn is totally Irrelevant in this case, it NEVER was RELEVANT!!! (IMO)

It only came to pass after the conviction in which to BOLSTER a prosecution based on a Plea and where was the evidence to back the plea?????

Quote
Defendants: convictions and reprehensible conduct
The prosecution should always seek to prove bad character by asking the defence to make an admission under section 10 Criminal Justice Act 1967. A summary of the facts of the case should also be agreed.

What Bad character Evidence could Dr Vincent Tabak provide the Prosecution???? NONE (IMO), he was of good character and the CPS agreed.

Quote
There is a general issue in relation to the volume of material provided in support of bad character applications. It is inappropriate to serve evidence that is still subject to a determination by the court, by way of a notice of additional evidence. To do so may lead to the inappropriate service of material; only relevant material should accompany the application.


The early stages of the Introduction of Bad Character Evidence:

Quote
Charging

The police should forward to the prosecutor details of a defendant's bad character including previous convictions, such as the facts of the previous convictions, the nature of any defences used in the previous cases, and whether the defendant pleaded guilty or was found guilty. This should be provided at the earliest opportunity and preferably at the pre-charge stage.

There was never anything to support this, Dr Vincent Tabak hadn't committed any Offence prior NOT even a parking ticket!!

Quote
Prosecutors need to consider bad character evidence and the potential for admitting it at every review of the evidence. The MG3 should identify bad character evidence and any risks to admissibility, as part of the evidential stage of the Full Code Test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors. If the evidence taken as a whole (including bad character evidence) meets the tests set out in the Code then a prosecution will follow. Where the only evidence against a defendant is that of his bad character, the evidential test would not be satisfied and a prosecution must not take place.

So at the first review of the case the porn would have been introduced, also (IMO) the Child Porn! because that would show REPREHENSIBLE behaviour...So why wasn't it submitted early on in the proceedings??????
The Child Porn was never mentioned in the submissions as far as I am aware!!!

The submissions need to be looked at (IMO)


The Prosecution and the Defence must be well aware of what is relevant and do not need the judge to clarify the information to these High Profiled Professionals..

As the supposed Porn and Prostitutes are not seen as reprehensible behaviour and the watching of videos that were in the public domain, and were viewable on pay to watch TV on anyones TV set. I cannot see how this information was even brought to the judges attention, although he does refer to it...

Hopefully someone can clarify why not using the  BAD CHARACTER EVIDENCE against Dr Vincent Tabak could affect the case... By not having it there I believe they WOULDN'T introduce the GOOD CHARACTER EVIDENCE...(IMO)

Question:?? Does a case need Bad Character Evidence??? If Bad Character Evidence isn't introduced does that make the case extremely weak???

I'm sure I'm missing something in a legal sense to do with this 'Bad Character Evidence' in relation to Dr Vincent Tabak, but I'm not quite sure what it is!!!!

So I can't help but wonder why the Judge says anything in regards to the Prostitutes or the Porn when neither of them represent reprehensible behaviour in law as far as I can tell....

Has the Judge overstepped the mark???

It's a genuine question, because he must know the Law, yet he says that the porn evidence is inadmissible because it would prejudice the jury... Yet how can something prejudice a jury when it's NOT admissible in the first place because it doesn't show BAD CHARACTER!!!(IMO)??????



http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/bad_character_evidence/#exclusion

14

Offline Nine of Nine

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 01:35:27 PM »


Has the Judge overstepped the mark???

It's a genuine question, because he must know the Law, yet he says that the porn evidence is inadmissible because it would prejudice the jury... Yet how can something prejudice a jury when it's NOT admissible in the first place because it doesn't show BAD CHARACTER!!!(IMO)??????



Is that it... I am actually questioning myself now!!!

Is the problem with the Bad Character Evidence not being introduced because there was NEVER ANY?????

So what does that mean in relation to the statements the Judge made with regards Dr Vincent Tabak???

Had the Judge acted improperly to even reveal the possibility of Porn on Dr Vincent Tabaks computer when it was never admissible in the first place  (IMO)

Can someone answer this please......

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 02:19:35 PM »
One of the provisions of the Police & Criminal Evidence Act forbids detectives to reveal to 3rd parties information that they have collected about the private lives of witnesses and suspects whom they have interviewed in connection with a crime if this information proves to have no value as evidence in any criminal prosecution.

The only time I was ever interviewed by detectives investigating a serious crime was 45 years ago. I hasten to add that Portsmouth police interviewed 4,999 other people besides myself, before finally arresting the killers of a local man who had been found stabbed to death in his car in a quiet lane on the hill above the town. Their investigations revealed that the victim had had numerous extra-marital affairs, that his girlfriends themselves had been very active when their husbands were at sea, and that this way of life was much more widespread than either the police or the Royal Navy themselves had previously been aware.

This provision of PACE is IMO soundly based, on commonsense grounds, so IMO the judge who tried Vincent Tabak may have infringed this provision by authorising the news media to publish the details of this so-called evidence of bad character. Had Counsel for the Defence been concerned for his client's best interests, surely he would have tried to prevent publication?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 02:22:10 PM by Leonora »

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 07:36:51 PM »
“The pornography industry has been estimated to generate more revenue than Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix and Apple combined,” alleged an economist (without attribution).

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cambridge-university-economist-name-women-sex-work-earn-money-prostitution-a7659401.html

I personally am much too busy chatting online to view pornographic videos, and I am much too old to sell my body or purchase sex. So I have to be sceptical about ALL the assertions made in the media on this subject, including those allegedly linking Vincent Tabak's guilt to his "secret life". I have a certain sneaking sympathy for the lurid tabloid press lapping this all up and sharing it with their readers, as the judge had promised them that they need not fear the sort of retribution meted out by Christopher Jefferies.

However, the serious newspapers - and they know who I mean - were supposed to respect their own readers' intelligence and/or moral rectitude. No one wants the details of their intimate lives blazened across the news media, unless they are deliberate attention seekers, so regardless of the judge's permission, these newspapers were actively violating their own standards. The judge had declared that this was not a matter that the jury needed to know about - so neither did their readers.

These "serious" newspapers also knew that the Prosecution's allegations about Vincent Tabak's "secret life" were what I choose to call "hearsay-hearsay-hearsay" - they had not been testified in court by witnesses under oath and a judge, nor their validity challenged by a defence counsel, nor had the names of the witnesses who were prepared to testify that they had found evidence of his "secret life" been revealed, either to the judge, or to the news media, or to the public.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 07:40:22 PM by Leonora »

Offline mrswah

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Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 05:54:32 AM »
Watching pornographic videos and using the services of escorts are not crimes, and, since the judge did not allow these matters to be introduced during the trial, they did not need to be mentioned afterwards, or revealed to the newspapers------unless, of course, the judge wanted the public to be doubly sure that they knew Vincent Tabak was a very bad man!

Possessing child porn, however, is a crime. If VT really did have indecent pictures of children on his computer (rather than, for example, photos of him drying his young nieces and nephews after a swim in the sea), why was this matter not tried at the same time as the alleged murder of Joanna?

What was the point in going through a second trial four years later? What was the point of placing VT on the sex offenders' register for ten years, when everyone knew he would be in prison for those ten years, and would, therefore, be no danger to children?

More importantly, who saw the evidence that VT did actually possess these pictures? There was no jury at the second trial (which, I understand, is not unusual), but would the defence lawyer have had access to what was, supposedly, on VT's computer?

Or, was it another case of it not being necessary to produce or to question the evidence, since he had pleaded guilty?

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 07:06:44 AM »
More importantly, who saw the evidence that VT did actually possess these pictures? There was no jury at the second trial (which, I understand, is not unusual), but would the defence lawyer have had access to what was, supposedly, on VT's computer?

Or, was it another case of it not being necessary to produce or to question the evidence, since he had pleaded guilty?
Yes indeed mrswah.

Even if there had been a jury, it would be no better equipped to decide whether Vincent Tabak was guilty or not unless a witness was produced to testify that the illegal images had been found on a computer, that this was the same computer that had been used by the defendant alone, and that no third parties had had the opportunity to tamper with the computer or hack into it, either before or after it was confiscated. This is a particularly stringent requirement for digital images, which may be copied and transmitted over the internet.

If a police officer confiscates an illegal drug from a premises, it is possible that the drug was planted by a third party to incriminate the occupant. But in this case the third party has (1) to possess the drug, and (2) to relinquish it. Nor does the officer have to consume the drug to make sure that it really is an illegal drug - it can be chemically tested objectively, and put into a secure pound.

None of this applies to illegal digital images. The third party does not have to relinquish the images, as they can be copied ad infinitum. The police officer has to view the images personally to assess whether they are illegal or not, thereby risking being influenced sexually by them. The same risk is incurred by the lawyers and jurors. The task of distinguishing between legal and illegal images and assessing the level of seriousness is highly subjective, and falls outside the range of experience of most law-abiding jurors.

This is a law that asks to be abused.

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 07:23:57 AM »
What was the point in going through a second trial four years later? What was the point of placing VT on the sex offenders' register for ten years, when everyone knew he would be in prison for those ten years, and would, therefore, be no danger to children?
guilty?
Quite! We can only speculate. You and the news media refer to "THE sex offenders' register", without clarifying whether this is a purely British register, a European register, or a worldwide register. Vincent Tabak's prosecution for possessing illegal images MAY have been intended to prevent his being transferred to a prison in the Netherlands, where I suspect there is no such thing as a sex offenders' register. It may have been intended to ensure that he remained a desparate man, deprived of weekly visits by his friends and family. It MAY have been to ensure that he remained vulnerable to vigilante attacks from fellow prisoners.

Offline mrswah

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Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 09:27:18 AM »
Quite! We can only speculate. You and the news media refer to "THE sex offenders' register", without clarifying whether this is a purely British register, a European register, or a worldwide register. Vincent Tabak's prosecution for possessing illegal images MAY have been intended to prevent his being transferred to a prison in the Netherlands, where I suspect there is no such thing as a sex offenders' register. It may have been intended to ensure that he remained a desparate man, deprived of weekly visits by his friends and family. It MAY have been to ensure that he remained vulnerable to vigilante attacks from fellow prisoners.

I assumed it was a British register, and that other countries had their own systems---but I am not sure.

Surely, being on the sex offenders' register does not deprive a prisoner of visits?

Offline Nine of Nine

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 09:30:38 AM »
I assumed it was a British register, and that other countries had their own systems---but I am not sure.

Surely, being on the sex offenders' register does not deprive a prisoner of visits?

No, I don't think it does.... but it stops him being repatriated to Holland I believe........

So he has to languish in a British prison instead where his family do not have access so easily to him!!

Offline mrswah

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Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 09:35:58 AM »
No, I don't think it does.... but it stops him being repatriated to Holland I believe........

So he has to languish in a British prison instead where his family do not have access so easily to him!!

Yes, that is what I thought, Eleanor!

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 06:15:25 PM »
I assumed it was a British register, and that other countries had their own systems---but I am not sure.
According to Wikipedia, "Sex offender registries exist in many English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland. Sex offender registration does not exist outside of the English-speaking world, however."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender_registry

Until this thread was started, I had no idea that the laws prescribing permissible sexual behaviour were so strikingly different from those in non-English speaking countries. Did you? I am flabberghasted.

IMO there was indeed a sexual element to the killing of Joanna Yeates, but that is only because IMO the person who killed her was, or had been, in a consensual relationship with her, and was not Vincent Tabak. However, the pathologist stated that he looked for signs that she had been raped, and found none, so neither Vincent Tabak nor anyone else raped her. Why would anybody believe Vincent Tabak flirted with her, when they only have his word for it, and the same people reject his claim not to have struggled with her?

The prosecution didn't even bother to produce any evidence of his possession of images of child abuse, either as evidence of bad character at his trial for murder, nor for his subsequent trial for possessing the alleged images themselves. So this case alone proves that anyone can find themselves on the sex offenders' register willy nilly, even if they do not have a Phd. Which I find disquieting.

Offline mrswah

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Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2017, 07:27:42 PM »
Yes, that is what I thought, Eleanor!

Sorry, Nine!  I don't know why I thought I was replying to Eleanor , when it was actually your post. My apologies!!

Offline mrswah

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Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2017, 07:40:03 PM »
I did not realise that only English speaking countries had an equivalent of a sex offenders' register------I, too, am very surprised at this.

So, what you are saying, Leonora, is that so long as one "admits" possessing indecent images, one can be convicted, without anyone verifying or challenging the possession of such images???

Mind boggling!!  What on earth is the point of a trial, then?

I don't know many people with PhD's, but I am sure that having one just proves that one is clever-----it does not prove that somebody is a good person , or a bad person.

Offline Leonora

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2017, 09:47:43 PM »
I did not realise that only English speaking countries had an equivalent of a sex offenders' register------I, too, am very surprised at this.

So, what you are saying, Leonora, is that so long as one "admits" possessing indecent images, one can be convicted, without anyone verifying or challenging the possession of such images???

Mind boggling!!  What on earth is the point of a trial, then?

I don't know many people with PhD's, but I am sure that having one just proves that one is clever-----it does not prove that somebody is a good person , or a bad person.
Even if a defendant denies possessing decent images, this case seems to demonstrate that the prosecution gets relieved of the burden of proof, since no evidence was put to the judge. Counsel for the prosecution alleged that certain illegal images of a certain level of seriousness had been found on the defendant's computer, the press reported it, and the prisoner was convicted of the crime.

I know quite a lot of people with PhDs, and none of them is a bad person. Each of them had to work very hard for several years to complete their PhD. Why is it that discussing online the conviction of Vincent Tabak brings out the most astonishing opinions in otherwise sensible people? I am sure that many bank robbers, for example, are very clever, and that they also work very hard to plan exactly the best time to steal the largest haul with the smallest risk of killing any staff or cutomers. They are, however, bad persons, and no university offers postgraduate courses in robbing banks. Postgraduate courses are offered solely in studies considered beneficial to society.

The majority of the prison population has minimal educational attainments, and a significantly higher illiteracy level, than the rest of the population. A murderer with a PhD is so unusual as to be worthy of note. One of the bizarre features of the Tabak case is the way the news media scarcely batted an eyelid at his (for a criminal) exceptional educational and professional attainments, while reporting in luridly mind-boggling detail the pornographic videos they were told he viewed, and the call girls they were told he bedded, as if watching porn or paying for sex were very unusual, especially among criminals.

Offline John

Re: Bad Character Evidence
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 10:11:47 PM »
Even if a defendant denies possessing decent images, this case seems to demonstrate that the prosecution gets relieved of the burden of proof, since no evidence was put to the judge. Counsel for the prosecution alleged that certain illegal images of a certain level of seriousness had been found on the defendant's computer, the press reported it, and the prisoner was convicted of the crime.

I know quite a lot of people with PhDs, and none of them is a bad person. Each of them had to work very hard for several years to complete their PhD. Why is it that discussing online the conviction of Vincent Tabak brings out the most astonishing opinions in otherwise sensible people? I am sure that many bank robbers, for example, are very clever, and that they also work very hard to plan exactly the best time to steal the largest haul with the smallest risk of killing any staff or cutomers. They are, however, bad persons, and no university offers postgraduate courses in robbing banks. Postgraduate courses are offered solely in studies considered beneficial to society.

The majority of the prison population has minimal educational attainments, and a significantly higher illiteracy level, than the rest of the population. A murderer with a PhD is so unusual as to be worthy of note. One of the bizarre features of the Tabak case is the way the news media scarcely batted an eyelid at his (for a criminal) exceptional educational and professional attainments, while reporting in luridly mind-boggling detail the pornographic videos they were told he viewed, and the call girls they were told he bedded, as if watching porn or paying for sex were very unusual, especially among criminals.

I think you are stretching the argument just a tad to suggest that Vincent Tabak couldn't be a killer because he attained a PHD. Similarly, there are many cases of doctors and nurses who have committed murder.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 10:19:47 PM by John »
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