Isiaka was taught around the same time as

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Last updated: September 20, 2019

 Isiaka Abiola3426945Analysis of Evidence          I would like to start this reflective reportby saying that I am extremely grateful for being given the opportunity to takepart in this module because at the begging of the academic year, it was almostimpossible for me to join the class, as I was a new student and had to takesome other modules that was taught around the same time as Analysis ofEvidence, I was convinced not to do it, as the other module was compulsory andAnalysis of Evidence was optional, but I knew what I wanted and insisted on it.It was completely different from what I thought it would be, nothing comparedto all other modules I have ever taken as far as law is concerned, whether hereat London Southbank or my previous Institution University of London. Itprovided a new, exciting and practical approach to learning law as a course.However I was able to cope and if finally turned out to be my favourite courseso far.    Analysis of Evidence appealed to me becauseit gives student the practical opportunity to be directly involved with cases,knowing at the back of your mind that you are responsible for the ultimateoutcome.

To be given this level of responsibility made me feel like, my bestwas needed for Andrew Farnsby to be convicted and make the society a saferplace for everyone to live in, as I was in the prosecuting team. And I wouldhave felt like his freedom was based on my performance if he was truly notguilty and I was a member of the defence team. This modulealso gave me the opportunity to work in a group, which was very differentcompared to other modules that I have taken so far, which are usually based 100percent on examinations with a substantial accentuation on individual study.

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Itwas unlike anything I have ever done. This module has developed me personallyas far as working in a group is concerned, it blended me in well consideringthe fact that I was in a new country and a new environment, it helped me madenew friends and perhaps contacts for future legal and business wanders. Thegroup work was an awesome approach to enhance my basic aptitudes that arefundamental to working in a legal environment. My reflective thinking,listening ability, decision making, organisation skills and socialcorrespondence are some of the skills that I have been able to improve upon, I findthis to be very exciting and exceptionally energizing as it could ultimatelylead to my success, whether professionally, or socially.   Part A I found the Wigmore chat veryunique, it’s unique in such a way that it draws your attention to almosteverything that the other group will be discussing in court, in such achronological manner. Which I believe will help prepare you better regardlesson whose team you are on. So for example, the chat drew our attention as theprosecution team to what our counterparts, the defence group will be talkingabout in court especially with regards to strengths and weaknesses.                                                                                                                                              A strength from the prosecution team becomes aweakness for the defence.

And also a weakness from the prosecution becomes astrength for the defence’. Firstly, in deciding whether an arraignment should be initiated, thecode for crown prosecutors requires the CPS lawyers which in this case was theprosecution team that I was on, to determine whether there is sufficientevidence to secure a conviction. In making this appraisal, the CPS legal advisorwill be mindful of the rules of evidence. The CPS lawyer has no activeinvestigative part and along these lines must survey the evidence accumulatedby the police by considering the witness statements and items of real evidencewhich may have been subject to forensic analysis. Based on the assessment ofthe evidence, the CPS lawyer may recommend to the police that furtherinvestigation is required or will be satisfied that there is adequate evidenceto charge the suspect.

This was where we got it wrong as a prosecuting team and led to thecase being thrown out of court, because there was not enough evidence toprosecute Andrew Farnsby. Our evidence was solely based on Andrews’s previousconvictions. The first strength I would like to discuss from the prosecutioncase is in this line.

It was the strength which turned out to be the mostcontroversial issue in court, and it says: ”whether AF was capability of committing the offence of theft due to his Previousconvictions” this was a strength for the prosecution and a weakness to thedefence, but the table turned immediately the judge pointed out and concludedthat our strength on the bases of previous convictions cannot hold because it was not strong enough to convictAndrew Farnsby and the judges point was based on the  Criminal Justice Act 2003 and The AttorneyGeneral’s Guidelines. The commonlaw rules governing the admissibility of bad character evidence are abolished.The judges point was based on the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and The Attorney General’s Guidelines that states”The review of disclosure should continue in light of issues raised during atrial, and for this reason the trial advocate should always be made aware ofany undisclosed previous convictions, which should be set out in the brief tocounsel. Should issues occur during the course of the trial that render themdisclosable, it may be that it is appropriate for the trial advocate to conferwith the reviewing lawyer before proceeding to make disclosure, unless thedelay in seeking to confer would be such as to unduly disrupt the trial orotherwise be contrary to the interests of justice” .I ended up agreeing with the judgebecause although a note was found, the name Andrew was written on the note,Andrew having specialist skills and knowledge inthe type of property stolen, PC Dennis finding a book and a bunch of skeletonkeys in his possession proving his speciality, and his regular appointments atLennys, all these cannot substantiate the fact that Andrew really committed thecrime. PC Dennis only followed his guts because of the note he found had thename ‘Andrew’ on it.  So for this reasonI really think that the judge was right by quashing the case, and prosecutionshould have done more by suggesting to the police that further investigation isneeded or will be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to charge thesuspect. Secondly, thenote.

The note played a vital role in leading the prosecution to believe thatAndrew Farnsby was indeed the intruder. According toPC Dennis’ statement, it states that ”in the hall, I found a piece ofpaper.  On it was written the words:  “Andrew, meet me at Lenny’s for 1.30 on 3rdNovember.  Jenny.

  On showing it to Mr Cater, he stated that hedid not recognise the handwriting”. This was a significant strength becausefor Mr Carter not to be able to recognize the writing, meant that it was nothis and was the intruders. This led PC Dennis to believe that it was in factthe notorious Andrew Farnsby known to the police that stole on Mr Carter’sproperty, since he was the one known to the police specialising in antiquefurniture. This was precise and really convincing as it led the prosecutionteam to also believe the same. The note played a very significant role as itwas the link between Andrew Farnsby and the crime. It was the note that made PCDennis proceed with his investigation to Lennys, it became more convincing asLennys is the favourite hangout place of the ‘Andrew’ known to the police to bea specialist in antique furniture.

Themanageress Sylvia didn’t make the matter easier as she was unsure, as a matterof fact I think she made it more convincing that Farnsby was there on 3rdNovember, as she said, “It was either Mr Farnsby or Mr Willoughby who rang upand booked a table for lunch that day. If it was Mr Willoughby, he would have ordered Leibfraumilch.” NoLeibfraumilch had been ordered” this took Mr Willoughby out of the issue andbrings the radar back on Mr Farnsby. Ps Dennis’ statement also made us believethat there was a high chance of Andrew Farnsby being there at Lennys on 3rdNovember. As he state in his statement that. ” She looked up her records andfound the name which looked like it could have been Farnsby on 3rd November”.  Could have been doesn’t mean it was, neitherdoes it mean it wasn’t.

So considering the fact that his name was on the note,Lennys was his favourite hangout spot and was the appointment place on thenote, and No Leibfraumilch ordered, I believed and took the probability outthat it was in fact Mr Andrew Farnsby that was invited to Lennys bar on 3rdNovember and the note fell off him as he was trying to flee Mr carter’spremises. This was avery strong point as it got the defence team wanting in confidence. It was sowell proven that the defence team went out of line of questioning Mr Carterduring the trial. Although everything was unsure and under probability, theprosecution team did really well with this particular strength and took it frombeing probable to being plausible.

   Anotherstrength that we should in fact take into account,  has to do with AF having specialist skills and knowledge in the type of propertystolen, this was true and was well proven, and was supported by the fact that abook and a bunch of skeleton keys were found in his possession proving hisspeciality. But was not enough to prosecute because the only reason PC Denniswent on to get a warrant was based on the fact that Andrew had a previousconviction and because the note linked Andrew Farnsby with the crime. If therewas a different legitimate reason apart from his previous convictions and thenote, as well proven as this strength was, it would have gotten Andrew Farnsbybehind bars. On the other hand, this point was a particular weakness for the defenceteam as there was no way around it. They found it really difficult to provethat the book and skeleton keys were irrelevant, they even went on to talkabout the fact that he is now of good character and they book and keys didn’tplay any role, and they thought he was not guilty.

But someone who is now of areformed character will have no need for such keys and books. It was such aweakness to the defence team that I thought we had won the case, because theyliterally had nothing really relevant to say. But unfortunately, proving thatsomeone has a specialist knowledge in a type of theft is always not sufficientto prosecute them. There were twomajor weaknesses the prosecution had to deal with, which was in particular,strengths for the defence team.Firstly,Inconsistent colours between witnesses. This was a majorweakness for the prosecution team but I think we did exceptionally well bymaking good use of Generalizations which is one of the rules applicable to thewignore chat. Bill Cater saw a young man wearing a blue bomber jacket andred peaked hat and carrying a very large holdall, PC Dennis found a greenbomber jacket with a blue lining on the back of a chair and a blue peaked haton the table and Thelma Soggit said she thatshe saw a man wearing a red coat and a blue hat in Mr Cater’s garden.

And on PC Dennisinvasion, he said, ”in the first drawer on the right hand side of the desk Ifound a bunch of skeleton keys.  I alsofound a green bomber jacket with a blue lining on the back of a chair and ablue peaked hat on the table”. The only thing he saw that was matching wasAndrew Farnsby’s blue peaked hat.The prosecution was able to make this weakness lees of a weakness. Wewere able to generalize and came to a conclusion that the colours were inconsistentas a result of Low visibility due to the time of the year.

Secondly, the manager Sylvia was not sure of the name she had on herrecord. As already explain above, Sylvia complicated the issue alittle bit more as she was unsure, and her being unsure was a strength and atthe same time a weakness to our case.There aretwo ways to access the mater.

If assessed as weakness, her state of beingunsure makes her an untrustworthy witness. On the other hand I think she madeit more convincing that Farnsby was there on 3rd November, as she said,”It was either Mr Farnsby or Mr Willoughby who rang up and booked a table forlunch that day.  If it was Mr Willoughby,he would have ordered Leibfraumilch.” No Leibfraumilch had been ordered” sothere is a possibility   Part BMaking thechat, I must say was adventurous, but one question that could not skip my mindthroughout the course was “Why chat?” Why did Wigmore decide to representarguments with a Chart?I did a little bit of research on thereasons why Wigmore might have decided to use a chat to represent an argument,I found out that the Current proponents of tree diagramming are frequentlycommitted chatting the structure of arguments made. The diagram in thisview is an instrument for analysing and evaluating effectively existingarguments. This implies that the diagrammer will confront critical issues ofdeciphering argument, since argumentative discourse in practice must normallybe significantly “standardized” “transformed,” on the otherhand “remade” to reveal anything like a tree structure.

By and large, Wigmore’s Chart Methodmoves the focal point of gravity of the diagramming scheme from interpretingarguments effectively made to outlining, constructing, creating or (in traditionalterms) inventing arguments/reasons to be made. Our aim in the prosecution group asCharters was supposed to be trying to decide a case or to discover how it couldbe decided; we prepared the Chart in order to help ourselves assess and improveour argument as we developed it as a group trying to prosecute.  

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