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Judge hits out after assault case is dropped

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A judge has hit out at victims of violent crime who treat the police like their own "private security service" after a case against a Wolverhampton teenager was dropped because the main witness pulled out.

A judge has hit out at victims of violent crime who treat the police like their own "private security service" after a case against a Wolverhampton teenager was dropped because the main witness pulled out.

Judge Rosalind Bush said police and court time was being wasted by victims who refused to give evidence after initially co-operating. She made her comments after the case against Michael Palmer, who was charged with assault and theft following an incident on June 7.

Mr Warren Stanier, prosecuting, told Judge Bush yesterday that the alleged victim had been "elusive" and while he stood by his statement to police, he wanted to "put the matter behind him" and not have any more to do with the case.

Police were satisfied he had not been pressured into not co-operating, said Mr Stanier.

Judge Bush said: "This is happening more and more and more. People are getting into fights or are injured, call the police to stop it happening at that moment like a private security service.

"When the police stop it happening, these complainants are not prepared to support any prosecution.

"They treat the police like an emergency resource to stop themselves being hit at the time and then after that, that's it."

Addressing the prosecutor, she added: "It wastes the police time, it wastes our time and it wastes your time."

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She entered not guilty verdicts in the case of Palmer, aged 19, of Lennox Gardens, Penn Fields, who is currently serving a prison sentence for another matter.

It is the second time a Wolverhampton judge has been critical following the outcome of cases in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Judge Amjad Nawaz hit out at prosecutors, claiming a case involving a man who was allegedly held against his will in Walsall and interrogated was "watered down and made meaningless" when serious charges were dropped.

Three men were given the chance to admit the lesser charge of affray and were given community orders.

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