Pervert the Course of Justice
The client was being prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court in relation to an assault against his ex-partner. A friend of the ex-partner had been present and witnessed the incident. The client was relying upon her to exonerate him.
She was however reluctant to assist because of her friendship with the ex-partner. The witness initially told police she could not remember anything. She then told the client she would provide a statutory declaration clearing him of wrongdoing, which she did.
On the day of Court, when it came time to give her evidence, the witness back flipped and claimed that the client had pressured her to make a false statutory declaration. The police then charged the client with perverting the course of justice.
During the committal (the hearing prior to trial) the witness added evidence to her original statement that brought her truthfulness further into question. During the trial the trial barrister exposed her unreliability as a witness. The jury acquitted the client after 4 hours of deliberations.