It seems absurd there are in criminal law time limits for prosecution. In effect if an offender is not complained of within six months of the incident the offender can be safe in the knowledge he or she will not be prosecuted. How can this be acceptable. If there are going to be any time limit for any prosecution it should be longer than 6 months. Indeed, in civil law one has up to 6 years to make a complaint. Whether a complaint comes 6 weeks, 6 months or even 6 years after an incident providing there is evidence to secure a conviction the victim of crime should not be denied justice…as was the case with myself.
Why does this idea matter?
This idea is important because it would promote fairness and equality for all. In 2008 I found myself in a situation whereby I was on the end of another's unlawful behaviour. I was effectively made to feel threatened by their alarming tone of voice and language used. I thought I was going to be attacked physically considering the verbal onslaught and reacted as a result. I shamefully kicked my antagonist and smasked a window on his car. I subsequently got convicted of common assault and criminal damage. I hasten to say I am ashamed of my reaction and have been dealt with by the courts as a result.
Where I get annoyed is the fact I had to wait a year for my case to trial. During this time I discovered the law of which my complainant had contraviened against myself whilst waiting in the public gallery of a court. I couldn't understand why the perpatrator of the event which landed me in court wasn't answering to a Judge himself for his own unlawful behaviour. I naturally contacted the Police during this time to make a complaint whereby I was told I couldn't make a complaint until my case had been dealt with. After waiting a year for my case to be dealt with I then went to the Police to make my compliant. I was then told the matter would not be investigated any further as it had already been dealt with by the Courts. Unfortunately I think the arresting officer did not appreciate the court only presided over whether or not I was guilty for the offences which were alleged and not any offences which the complainant had evidence of comitting. Even so, after complaining to the police I was then informed I couldn't make a complaint aginst the perpatrator of the events which landed me in court because the crime he was guilty of has to be reported within 6 months of the offence. How was I supposed to do this when I had to wait 12 months for my case to be heard? In effect the law protected my complainant from prosecution even though there is evidence and witnesses willing to come to court to prosecute.
If my case is anything to go by the criminal justice system is far from fair, lacks equality and operates a policy of double standards. The legal system should not be there to appear that justice is done but for justice to be impartial with both the Police and CPS acting with professional levels of integrity. This certainly wasn't the case in my case and I feel this must be addressed in order that we can have a fairer criminal justice system.