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2 minutes reading time (403 words)

MEDIA COVERAGE - CHRISTOPHER DANIEL

Our client has been the subject of media coverage this week. This is the statement of Beltrami & Co about the case for anyone seeking comment:

“Any case involving child witnesses requires particular sensitivity from the court practitioners involved. This case was conducted with care and professionalism throughout. The child gave her evidence outwith the courtroom via CCTV link, and with the benefit of a support person. By agreement, the court was closed to the public.

"Victims will often find the experience of giving evidence in court difficult, particularly in cross  examination. Both the Crown and the Sheriff can and do intervene if cross examination of any vulnerable witness is in any way inappropriate. No such issues arose at any point in this case.

“The Sheriff imposed an absolute discharge after a careful assessment of all the evidence and the surrounding circumstances. The Sheriff considered both the effect on the child and the effect on our client, who was under the age of 18 at the time of the offences.

“The sentence was originally subject to appeal. As is the usual practice, the Sheriff prepared a detailed report on his reasons.

“Within this report, the Sheriff reached the conclusion that justice could be served by taking what he called a ‘wholly exceptional’ decision. Among the factors the Sheriff identified in his report were statements by the family of the child that “they were not seeking any form of retribution” and “held no ill-will” against our client or his family.

“The Crown abandoned their appeal after consideration of the Sheriff’s report. That is a matter for the Crown.

"Our client's family appreciate the genuine sensitivity of this issue and have no wish to cause further upset to the victims family. Christopher is however their teenage son and they wish to protect him. The statement by Judiciary Scotland today (31st January 2019) has disclosed confidential medical information about him. Over the past few days he has received a number of serious threats on social media. These have been reported to Police Scotland. The family have engaged extensively with Social Services since July, including actively seeking and attending counselling services.

"The statement today also discloses into the public domain further details about the case which ultimately could lead to identification of the victim. Beltrami & Co ask that the age and vulnerability of those involved in this case are considered by all who wish to comment."

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