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The Criminal Justice (Evidence, Etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Evidence of persons under 14 in committal proceedings

12.  The following section shall be substituted for section 58 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968(1)—

Evidence ofpersons under14 in committalproceedings forassault, sexualoffences etc.

58.(1) In any proceedings before a magistrates' court conducting a preliminary investigation into an offence to which this section applies—

(a)a child shall not be called as a witness for the prosecution; but

(b)any statement made by or taken from a child shall be admissible in evidence of any matter of which his oral testimony would be admissible,

except in a case where the application of this subsection is excluded under subsection (3).

(2) This section applies—

(a)to an offence which involves an assault, or injury or a threat of injury to, a person;

(b)to an offence under section 20 (cruelty to persons under 16);

(c)to a sexual offence; and

(d)to an offence which consists of attempting or conspiring to commit, or of aiding, abetting, counselling, procuring or inciting the commission of, an offence falling within paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

(3) The application of subsection (1) is excluded—

(a)where at or before the time when the statement is tendered in evidence the defence objects to its admission; or

(b)where the prosecution requires the attendance of the child for the purpose of establishing the identity of any person; or

(c)where the court is satisfied that it has not been possible to obtain from the child a statement that may be given in evidence under this section; or

(d)where the investigation into the offence takes place after the court has discontinued to try it summarily and the child has given evidence in the summary trial.

(4) Where in the course of a preliminary investigation into an offence to which this section applies, a resident magistrate decides under Article 45 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 to deal with the offence summarily, a statement admitted in pursuance of this section shall not be deemed to be evidence of the matters to which it relates.

(5) In this section “sexual offence” means any offence under any of the following provisions, namely—

(a)sections 48, 52 to 55, 61 and 62 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861;

(b)sections 2 to 8, 11 and 13 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885;

(c)section 1 of the Vagrancy Act 1898;

(d)sections 1 and 2 of the Punishment of Incest Act 1908;

(e)section 7(4) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1912;

(f)section 2 of the Attempted Rape, etc. Act (Northern Ireland) 1960;

(g)sections 21 and 22 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968;

(h)Article 3 of the Protection of Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1978;

(i)Article 9 of the Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1980;

(j)Articles 7 and 8 of the Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982;

(k)Articles 122 and 123 of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986.

(6) Nothing in Article 33 of the Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 shall apply to a statement to which this section applies..

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