Nigella Lawson not to be prosecuted over drug admissions - rule of law?

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Lady Comstock
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Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...s-9088265.html

Interesting, I wonder if an average joe would be treated in a similar manner by the police?
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Psyk
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...s-9088265.html

Interesting, I wonder if an average joe would be treated in a similar manner by the police?
Yes I think an average joe would be treated the same way. Actually no, it wouldn't have even gone this far with an average joe. I really doubt the police consider it worth their time to follow up and investigate someone just because they said they did drugs at some point. Sure if someone is caught with drugs they'll do something, but if they happen to admit to taking drugs during the course of some other (non-drugs related) investigation I doubt they'd care unless they admit to being involved in dealing.

At least I hope that's what would happen. It shocks me to think how much tax payer money is wasted "fighting" drugs.
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DaveSmith99
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I think so yes. She wasn't on trial and its a fairly minor crime.

It's in the best interests of the courts as well, it would have set a dangerous precedent, where witnesses are advised to remain silent in order to avoid self incrimination.
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Old_Simon
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I am not quite sure what law she is alleged to have broken ?
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tibbles209
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I've never heard of anyone being prosecuted for simply saying they have taken drugs at some point in the past.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
I think so yes. She wasn't on trial and its a fairly minor crime.

It's in the best interests of the courts as well, it would have set a dangerous precedent, where witnesses are advised to remain silent in order to avoid self incrimination.
The judge didn't direct her on this issue either. IMHO he should have done.
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
I am not quite sure what law she is alleged to have broken ?
Being in possession of a class A drug.
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Strangey
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...s-9088265.html

Interesting, I wonder if an average joe would be treated in a similar manner by the police?
Please tell the law which says it's an offense to have taken drugs? It's an offense to supply, posses or manufacture drugs, but not to take them. That way, you can go to A&E if you've had an overdose without fear of the plod being there to arrest you the moment you're admitted.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by Strangey)
Please tell the law which says it's an offense to have taken drugs? It's an offense to supply, posses or manufacture drugs, but not to take them. That way, you can go to A&E if you've had an overdose without fear of the plod being there to arrest you the moment you're admitted.
Exactly.

And that is why the judge did not warn her about incriminating herself. Possession can not be charged for historical possession to my knowledge.
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Strangey
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Exactly.

And that is why the judge did not warn her about incriminating herself. Possession can not be charged for historical possession to my knowledge.
That's pretty much all I remember from drugs awareness at school! Glad it hasn't changed
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by Strangey)
Please tell the law which says it's an offense to have taken drugs? It's an offense to supply, posses or manufacture drugs, but not to take them. That way, you can go to A&E if you've had an overdose without fear of the plod being there to arrest you the moment you're admitted.
To have taken them, she would have been in possession of them. The CPS have her confessing to being in possession of class A drugs while under oath, they could almost certainly get a prosecution with that, her only defence would be perjury, which is a far more serious crime.
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Hopple
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You're not allowed to have drugs, but you are allowed to take them. Various politicians have admitted doing so, even outside of Parliamentary privilege. This whole thing is a mess though, her taking drugs without causing harm to anyone (compare with drunks fighting or smokers leaving their haze for others to choke on) has had more publicity than her then husband strangling her in public.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
To have taken them, she would have been in possession of them. The CPS have her confessing to being in possession of class A drugs while under oath, they could almost certainly get a prosecution with that, her only defence would be perjury, which is a far more serious crime.
I know very little law but as I understand it in order to frame the charge the CPS need to allege that she was in possession of x amount of material on such and such a date which on forensic analysis turned out to be Charlie, A drug Class A prohibited by blah blah. There is insufficient evidence to mount such a charge.
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
I know very little law but as I understand it in order to frame the charge the CPS need to allege that she was in possession of x amount of material on such and such a date which on forensic analysis turned out to be Charlie, A drug Class A prohibited by blah blah. There is insufficient evidence to mount such a charge.
It's a strange situation. If you get caught with drugs, then being caught + your admission is enough, they very often to not test the drugs they confiscate. They will ask you what the drug is, where you got it from, how much it cost etc etc then use that in the prosecution. Here we have someone admitting to possessing drugs under oath, because of the nature of perjury I can't see any reason why her admission under oath alone would be insufficient evidence.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
It's a strange situation. If you get caught with drugs, then being caught + your admission is enough, they very often to not test the drugs they confiscate. They will ask you what the drug is, where you got it from, how much it cost etc etc then use that in the prosecution. Here we have someone admitting to possessing drugs under oath, because of the nature of perjury I can't see any reason why her admission under oath alone would be insufficient evidence.
The charge needs to state the amount I think. That's problem #1.

Secondly without conceding to perjury she might say she thought it was coke but now she is not sure.

Joe soap being stitched up by plod doesn't get a brief like the sainted Nigella would retain. And the judge permitting her to incriminate herself on oath without a warning is an abuse of process. It wouldn't last five minutes.
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Old_Simon
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Oh:

First offence invariably not prosecuted even for Class A.
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DaveSmith99
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
The charge needs to state the amount I think. That's problem #1.

Secondly without conceding to perjury she might say she thought it was coke but now she is not sure.

Joe soap being stitched up by plod doesn't get a brief like the sainted Nigella would retain. And the judge permitting her to incriminate herself on oath without a warning is an abuse of process. It wouldn't last five minutes.
I don't think the amount has to be stated, its just normally is because the way most drug prosecutions work is the defendant is caught with them.

I'm not sure whether that could be used as a defence either. I know with the supply of drugs you can still be prosecuted for selling talcum powder (for example) as cocaine, not sure if this applies to personal though. Even if she could use this as a defence, she would also have to prove that she only learned that it was not cocaine after she admitted to taking cocaine under oath.
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CEKTOP
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
Article: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/pe...s-9088265.html

Interesting, I wonder if an average joe would be treated in a similar manner by the police?
Even if an average Joe gets caught with some class A, B or C drugs on him there is an almost 100% chance that he would get a caution and set loose without any court involvement.


You can't prosecute people for admitting to taking drugs as you no longer have physical evidence of possession.
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CEKTOP
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
It's a strange situation. If you get caught with drugs, then being caught + your admission is enough, they very often to not test the drugs they confiscate. They will ask you what the drug is, where you got it from, how much it cost etc etc then use that in the prosecution. Here we have someone admitting to possessing drugs under oath, because of the nature of perjury I can't see any reason why her admission under oath alone would be insufficient evidence.
Where is the physical evidence of that? If I claim that I killed somebody that would not automatically allow the court to sentence me for murder - I would have to provide concrete evidence.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by DaveSmith99)
Being in possession of a class A drug.
You see now ? My deceptively simple and apparently naive question took us right into the substantive law. Something you do not appear to be familiar with. But oh my goodness you could not resist your two cents from such a position of certainty.
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