Dating Fraud

There are always going to be people who lie. Fact. Unfortunately, with the advent of online dating, it is even easier to lie because the chances of the lie being discovered are a great deal less than in the ‘real world’. We are sad to say that we are continually discovering new lies in each investigation we take on, from the lies that come from the ‘restless married’ to those that come from men pretending to be women and vice versa.

How Does a Family Court Determine If a Parent Is Unfit?

  • A history of child abuse.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • A history of domestic violence.
  • The parent’s ability to make age-appropriate decisions for a child.
  • The parent’s ability to communicate with a child.
  • Psychiatric concerns.
  • The parent’s living conditions.
  • A history of domestic abuse; either physical or emotional.
  • A history of mental illness that could incapacitate the parent to care for the children adequately.
  • Unreasonable behaviour during the divorce process
  • Their ability to discipline children fairly
  • The quality of their house or neighbourhood where they live in a home that is unsafe for children to reside in
  • A history of criminal offences and/or imprisonment
  • A strongly negative attitude of the children towards the parent, or unwillingness to live with that parent

Perjury Act 1911

An Act to consolidate and simplify the Law relating to Perjury and kindred offences.

[29th June 1911.]

Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :


(1)If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding wilfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.

(2)The expression ” judicial proceeding” includes a proceeding before any court, tribunal, or person having by law power to hear, receive, and examine evidence on oath.

(3)Where a statement made for the purposes of a judicial proceeding is not made before the tribunal itself, but is made on oath before a person authorised by law to administer an oath to the person who makes the statement, and to record or authenticate the statement, it shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as having been made in a judicial proceeding.

(4)A statement made by a person lawfully sworn in England for the purposes of a judicial proceeding—

(a)in another part of His Majesty’s dominions ; or

(b)in a British tribunal lawfully constituted in any place by sea or land outside His Majesty’s dominions; or

(c)in a tribunal of any foreign state, shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as a statement made in a judicial proceeding in England.

(5)Where, for the purposes of a judicial proceeding in England, a person is lawfully sworn under the authority of an Act of Parliament—

(a)in any other part of His Majesty’s dominions; or

(b)before a British tribunal or a British officer in a foreign country, or within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England ;

a statement made by such person so sworn as aforesaid (unless the Act of Parliament under which it was made otherwise specifically provides) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as having been made in the judicial proceeding in England for the purposes whereof it was made.

(6)The question whether a statement on which perjury is assigned was material is a question of law to be determined by the court of trial.

Drink Spiking

 Administering a substance with intent

114.Section 61 makes it an offence for a person (A) intentionally to administer a substance or to cause any substance to be taken by another person (B) where A knows that B does not consent to taking that substance and where A intends to stupefy or overpower B so that any person can engage in sexual activity involving B.

115.The offence is intended to cover use of so-called “date rape drugs” administered without the victim’s knowledge or consent, but would also cover the use of any other substance with the relevant intention. It would cover A ‘spiking’ B’s drinks with alcohol where B did not know he was consuming alcohol, but it would not cover A encouraging B to get drunk so that A could have sex with B, where B knew that he was consuming alcohol.

116.The substance may be administered to B in any way, for example, in a drink (as in the example given above), by injection or by covering B’s face with a cloth impregnated with the substance.

117.The offence applies both where A himself administers the substance to B, and where A causes the substance to be taken by B, for example where A persuades a friend (C) to administer a substance to B, so that A can have sex with B, because C knows B socially and can more easily slip the substance into B’s drink than A can.

118.However, the intended sexual activity need not involve A. In the example given above it could be intended that C or any other person would have sex with B.

119.The term “sexual”, used in this section in the phrase “sexual activity”, is defined in section 78. The sexual activity in this offence could involve A having sexual intercourse with or masturbating B; could involve A causing B to commit a sexual act upon himself (for example, masturbation); or could involve B and a third party engaging in sexual activity together, regardless of whether the third party had administered the substance.

120.The offence would be made out where A administers the substance or causes B to take it (with the relevant intent) regardless of whether any sexual activity took place, for example because a friend of B saw what was happening and intervened to protect B.

Crying rape falsely: rare or common?

The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, is claiming that a dirty tricks campaign lay behind the charges of rape and sexual assault laid against him by two Swedish women last week.
The rape charge has been dismissed as groundless by the Swedish authorities, who are still investigating the charge of sexual assault, The Times reports today (p 25). Mr Assange met the two women ten days ago. He denies the charges, but fears that they have damaged him and his organisation, which recently published 70,000 confidential frontline reports on the Afghan war, causing fury in the Pentagon.
Sweden has the highest rate of reported rape in the world, 46.5 cases per 100,000 people, almost twice that of England & Wales. But it also has a low conviction rate: around 10 per cent of cases reported in Sweden end in convictions. In general, there is a roughly inverse relationship between the reported rape in individual countries and the proportion of these reports that end in conviction.

Continue reading “Crying rape falsely: rare or common?”

The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused: Victims’ Voices

The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Occupations of Trust: Victims’ Voices highlights the lasting harm caused by wrongful allegations, more likely in a current social and legal climate committed to correcting past and preventing future injustice. Careful not to undermine the credibility of victims of abuse or diminish their confidence to report, Carolyn Hoyle, Ros Burnett, and Naomi-Ellen Speechley(PhD candidate at the University of Manchester), recognise the importance of giving a voice to the men and women falsely accused of harming people in their care.

Here’s the truth about false accusations of sexual violence

Why didn’t these women speak up sooner? This was asked time and time again during the recent public furore around sexual harassment, violence and abuse. Underlying the question is a persistent uncertainty about the credibility of victims – a concern with identifying what is true and what is false.

As women speak out, some have been met with explicit counter accusations that their descriptions are untrue. Others have been served with a defamation case which has resulted in the Solidarity Not Silence campaign to raise funds to fight the ensuing legal battle.

What’s clear is that the spectre of false allegation continues to dog the reporting of sexual violence. There remains a public impression that false allegations are common and that innocent people suffer as the result of being wrongfully accused.

Wasting Police Time

When wasting police time is being considered as the appropriate charge, a prosecution is more likely to be required where:

  • public / police resources being diverted for the purposes of investigation for a sufficient period;
  • where a substantial cost is incurred – for example, where expensive scientific examination has to be undertaken;
  • considerable distress is caused to the accused by the reporting;
  • where the false report alleges that a particularly grave offence has been committed;
  • there is significant premeditation in the making of the report; or
  • the complainant persists with the allegation, even when challenged.

It follows that, in order to make such an assessment, it will be important that prosecutors are presented with all background evidence available about the suspect, such as any mental health issues or learning difficulties, their age and intellectual maturity, their mental capacity in understanding the nature of the allegation made and whether they have any other vulnerabilities, such as being a victim of sexual or domestic abuse, or if they misuse any substances. The vulnerability of the complainant needs to be properly understood and taken into consideration. Prosecutors should ask whether there any indication that further support / intervention is required over and above a criminal justice outcome?

Perverting the Course of Justice

Perverting the Course of Justice

Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence. It can only be tried on indictment and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The offence is committed where a person:

  • does an act (a positive act or series of acts is required; mere inaction is insufficient);
  • which has a tendency to pervert; and
  • which is intended to pervert the course of public justice.

The course of justice includes the police investigation of a possible crime (it is not necessary for legal proceedings to have begun). A false allegation which risks the arrest or wrongful conviction of an innocent person is enough. The word pervert can mean “alter” but the behaviour does not have to go that far – any act that interferes with an investigation or causes it to head in the wrong direction may tend to pervert the course of justice. All the prosecution needs to prove is that there is a possibility that what the complainant has done “without more” might lead to a wrongful consequence, such as the arrest of an innocent person (Murray (1982) 75 Cr. App. R. 58).

Intention is not the same as motive. However, the motive of the complainant is likely to be important if the public interest stage is reached. The prosecution must prove an intention either to pervert the course of justice or to do something which, if achieved, would pervert the course of justice. All that is necessary is proof of knowledge of all the circumstances, and the intentional doing of an act which has a tendency, when objectively viewed, to pervert the course of justice.

Where the prosecution case is that a false allegation has been made, all that is required is that the person making the false allegation intended that it should be taken seriously by the police. It is not necessary to prove that she / he intended that anyone should actually be arrested (Cotter [2002] 2 Cr. App. R. 762).

Revenge is sweet

Past research has found that neural activity associated with feedback processing is enhanced by positive approach‐motivated states. However, no past work has examined how reward processing changes in the context of revenge. Using a novel aggression paradigm, we sought to explore the influence of approach‐motivated anger on neural responses to feedback indicating the opportunity to seek revenge against an offending opponent by examining the reward positivity (RewP), an event‐related potential indexing performance feedback. In Experiment 1, after receiving insulting feedback from an opponent, participants played a reaction time game with three trial types: revenge trials, aggravation trials, and no‐consequence trials. Results revealed that RewP amplitudes were larger to revenge trial win feedback than no‐consequence trial win feedback or revenge trial loss feedback. RewP amplitudes were larger to both aggravation trial win and loss feedback than on no‐consequence trials. Experiment 2 examined the influence of approach‐motivated anger during the acquisition of rewards on the RewP without the possibility of retribution from the offending individual. Participants played a reaction time game similar to Experiment 1, except instead of giving or receiving noise blasts, participants could win money from the insulter (revenge trials) or a neutral‐party (e.g., bank). Results indicated that revenge wins elicited larger RewP amplitudes than bank wins. These results suggest that anger enhances revenge‐related RewP amplitudes to obtaining revenge opportunities and further aggravation wins or losses. Anger appears to enhance the pleasurable feelings of revenge.

“It [revenge] is far sweeter than honey.”

— Homer, The Illiad