Court Support

If you have been the victim of a crime and you have reported it to the police, you may be required to attend court.

Not all cases will go to court, but if the offender is found and charged there will be a court process.

Having to appear at court can be quite daunting, but our specialist NVWS officers can provide support at each stage of the criminal justice process. They will keep you informed as the case progresses and inform you of the outcome of the trial.

How we can help

Your Victim & Witness Support Officer will discuss the court process with you and help with practical things, such as:

  • Obtaining your availability to attend court
  • Arranging travel and accommodation
  • Claiming expenses
  • Arrange for you to visit the court in advance to see how things work
  • Be supported at court on the day of the trial
  • Discuss whether you require any additional support such as an interpreter or support with a disability
  • Whether you require special measures such as giving your evidence behind a screen.

Making a victim personal statement

If you are a victim of crime you are entitled to make a victim personal statement. 

This is your chance to say how you feel about the crime and the effect it has had on you financially, physically or emotionally.

Generally, victim personal statements are read on your behalf by the Prosecutor, Judge or Magistrate when the court is deciding about the right sentence for the defendant. However, you can ask to read the statement out yourself if you would prefer.

Case Studies

Here is our case studies section, where we share stories of those who have been victims of a crime and who required support from Northumbria Victim & Witness Service.

Anna's Story:

Anna was the victim in a case of domestic abuse.

Rob's Story:

Rob had been the victim of a serious sexual offence.

Request support from NVWS

Request support

Frequently asked questions...

What if I no longer want to go to court?

Our trained Victim & Witness officers can discuss options available to you.

Can somebody attend court with me?

Yes, a child victim/witness is entitled to take along 2 people for support. Adult victim/witnesses are entitled to take along 1 person for support, however this can be discussed with your Victim & Witness Support Officer if you wish to take more than 1 or 2 people.

Do I need a solicitor?

No, each case is represented by a lawyer/or barrister from the Crown Prosecution Service to act on your behalf.

Can I speak to the lawyer/barrister in charge of my case?

You will have an opportunity to speak to the lawyer/barrister when you arrive at court. If there is anything you wish to raise prior to the court date, please contact your Northumbria Victim & Witness Service case worker.

Is it possible to avoid contact with the defendant at court?

We will make every effort to minimise contact with the defendant. Your Northumbria Victim & Witness Service worker may be able to apply for special measures that would allow you to be hidden from view in court, or to give your evidence remotely via TV link.

If you do need to attend court in person, every court has a separate dedicated prosecution witness waiting area.

What are special measures?

These are things that can be put into place to help achieve your best evidence at court.  

  • Video recorded evidence-in-chief – Where an interview with the police is visually recorded, this can be played as the witness’s evidence in the trial.
  • Live link – This enables the witness to give evidence during the trial from outside the courtroom through a televised link. The witness may be either accommodated within the court building or in a suitable location outside the court.
  • Screens – May be made available to shield the witness from the defendant.
  • Remote evidence – Evidence can be given via video link in a remote site away from the court.
  • Evidence given in private – Exclusion from the Court of members of the public and the press (except for one named person to represent the press) will be considered in cases involving sexual offences or intimidation.
  • Removal of wigs and gowns – By judges/barristers.
  • Examination of the witness through an intermediary – Who may be appointed by the court to assist the witness to give their evidence at court and during the video recording of their initial evidence.  This measure is available only to vulnerable witnesses.
  • Aids to communication – This will be permitted to enable the witness to give best evidence whether through a communicator or interpreter, or through a communication aid or technique, provided that the communication can be independently verified and understood by the court.  Again, this measure is only available to vulnerable witnesses.

Don’t see your question here?

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