Many witnesses feel worried about going to court, regardless of whether or not they were the victim of the crime. They may not know what to expect or how to find out about court procedures, the court layout or the role of various people working at the court. They may find it difficult to give evidence, especially if it means talking about unpleasant events in public. They may not feel prepared for the process of cross-examination which can sometimes feel critical or even humiliating.
If you are asked to appear in court as a witness or as the victim of a crime, we can prepare you for, and support you through, that court appearance.
We can offer:
A visit to the court building, the witness suite, and the court itself, prior to the trial date
An explanation of who might be present in the court and where they would be seated
An explanation of court procedures
A quiet, comfortable place for you to wait prior to being called into court
Someone to come with you into the courtroom when you give evidence
Someone to talk to in confidence, even after the case is over.
We will support both prosecution and defence witnesses, as well as other people who might accompany a witness, for example a parent, guardian, carer, social worker or interpreter. However, we will not support defendants and we cannot discuss evidence, provide legal advice or give views on sentencing.