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  • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
    I would have thought the official procedure was to take down what the witness said verbatim.
    Anything else leaves the police officer open to accusations of tampering with witness statements.
    That is my experience of giving a witness statement.
    ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

    I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
      I would have thought the official procedure was to take down what the witness said verbatim.
      Anything else leaves the police officer open to accusations of tampering with witness statements.
      My position at the start (several years ago), was the statement is taken down in his own words, as you & Debs have stated. Any questions are only for clarification. Like, for the detailed description of the suspect?
      This I argued with Ben numerous times.

      The more the interviewer interrupts the witness, the more chance of distraction.
      I firmly believed that, however current police opinion tends to disagree.
      What concerns me though is a modern policeman may be telling us the current procedure, not how it was done in 1888.

      How many people today would truly know how it was done in 1888?

      Sadly, the 1889 Police Code does not even address this issue.
      Regards, Jon S.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Debra A View Post
        That is my experience of giving a witness statement.
        Hi Debs.

        I do understand the point that was being made.
        Witnesses, and especially the more common folk, do not think like a policeman.
        The interviewing officer knows the story he is being given may need to be used in court at a trial someday.
        So when the witness said, "I was walking up street on my way t'pub, and I saw him...."

        Which street, which way was you walking, which pub?, etc.
        He then say's the man "had a funny face, and a red thing around his neck, and he walked a bit like this....(demonstrating)".
        How does a policeman present that verbatim story to a court?

        So yes, it is understandable that an officer has to stop the witness and get him to reword what he said, or suggest something he agrees with. Something that makes the statement more presentable, or more coherent as Bridewell said.
        Regards, Jon S.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Debra A View Post
          That is my experience of giving a witness statement.
          Sadly it doesnt work that way with an experienced statement taker. The idea is to include as much information as is possible, and in as much detail as is possible. i.e if the witness stated that a suspect was wearing a hat, it would be important to describe what type and colour hat it was.

          The reason being that if a suspect were arrested and his house searched the police would know what type of hat they were looking for to connect the suspect to the crime.

          Why should it change from 1888 ?

          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
          Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 07-15-2018, 02:53 PM.

          Comment


          • There are official records of witness statements taken on the day of the murder and written,it is claimed ,by Abberline himself.It can be noted that the statement of Thomas Bower is in a different style to the other statements.

            So,there can be a difference in how thy are presented.As Trevor points out,the interviewer can ask,and they often do,questions to resolve points of ambiguity,but the final answer is entered verbatem.


            For instance Sarah Lew is stated she arrived at the court between about 2am and 3am.It can be expected that Abberline would try for a more specific answer,and it is clear he would have failed.,and made no attempt to alter it.


            So the Phrase,'"Can be identified",as with all the other official witness answers,can be accepted as made without alteration,no matter what opinions are as to the honesty of the police of that time.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
              Hi Debs.

              I do understand the point that was being made.
              Witnesses, and especially the more common folk, do not think like a policeman.
              The interviewing officer knows the story he is being given may need to be used in court at a trial someday.
              So when the witness said, "I was walking up street on my way t'pub, and I saw him...."

              Which street, which way was you walking, which pub?, etc.
              He then say's the man "had a funny face, and a red thing around his neck, and he walked a bit like this....(demonstrating)".
              How does a policeman present that verbatim story to a court?

              So yes, it is understandable that an officer has to stop the witness and get him to reword what he said, or suggest something he agrees with. Something that makes the statement more presentable, or more coherent as Bridewell said.
              Hi Jon and Trevor.
              I appreciate what you are both saying. The experience of the officer taking the statement and the amount of detail a witness is able to give, unprompted, would determine how many questions were asked of the witness. That makes sense.
              ,,`,, Debs ,,`,,

              I am not DJA. He's called Dave.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by harry View Post
                There are official records of witness statements taken on the day of the murder and written,it is claimed ,by Abberline himself.It can be noted that the statement of Thomas Bower is in a different style to the other statements.

                So,there can be a difference in how thy are presented.As Trevor points out,the interviewer can ask,and they often do,questions to resolve points of ambiguity,but the final answer is entered verbatem.


                For instance Sarah Lew is stated she arrived at the court between about 2am and 3am.It can be expected that Abberline would try for a more specific answer,and it is clear he would have failed.,and made no attempt to alter it.


                So the Phrase,'"Can be identified",as with all the other official witness answers,can be accepted as made without alteration,no matter what opinions are as to the honesty of the police of that time.
                Where a witness statement is taken which refers to a description of an offender/suspect who is not known/or known at the time. The term "I would be able/not be able to recognize/identify him again is included in a statement as a matter of course, for obvious reasons.

                www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                Last edited by Trevor Marriott; 07-15-2018, 11:24 PM.

                Comment


                • Trevor,
                  But we know that in the Hutchinson statement,the words used were,"can be identified".Of course other descriptions would also surfice,but they were not used, and there is no evidence for Wickerman claim,that the whole paragraph was changed by Badham,from what Hutchinson actually said,to one Badham felt was more appropriate.No evidence whatsoever.

                  Comment


                  • I am not a Policeman but with due respect, - Button boots and gaiters with white buttons. Wore a very thick gold chain white linen collar. Black tie with horseshoe pin. That seems to me Hutchinson describing the man in great detail. Not Badham asking did he have a tie on, was he wearing jewellery etc
                    Also looking at his statement in the Ult Sourcebook his name is at the bottom of it with Badham's underneath. So I am assuming here that Hutchinson read, was happy with Badham's notes, and signed the statement. If he thought that Badham was putting words into his mouth he would surely have said so and not signed the document.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                      That seems to me Hutchinson describing the man in great detail.
                      "He then pulled his handkerchief a red one out and gave it to her" certainly sounds like Badham was taking dictation. A tidied-up transcript would surely have read "He then pulled out a red handkerchief and gave it to her", or even "He then gave her a red handkerchief" - the "pulled out" bit being almost redundant. For sure, "a red one" looks pretty much like an aside on Hutchinson's part, written down in real time by the Sergeant.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Gtzendmmerung, 1888)

                      Comment


                      • Neil is likely gritting his teeth and musing, "why don't they read the book?"

                        "Witness statements were commonly taken down in writing by a policeman, either upon special report form No.6 (the divisional form, blue in colour) or No.7 (the Central Office form, buff in colour); or within the policeman's pocketbook, and later transcribed word for word upon the relevant form. The policeman, with the witness dictating, must include the witness's words only, and not any of his own. The taking of statements has evolved over the years, due to the huge significance of witness testimony in trials - the sanctity of the process by which information is obtained can be the deciding factor between guilt and innocence."
                        Capturing Jack the Ripper, Neil Bell, 2014, p.208.

                        This, if accurate (re: must include the witness's words only, and not any of his own.), is in conflict with later police opinion.
                        The above also does not address the 'description' part of the witness statement. Which although will use the same adjectives provided by the witness, is published in point by point format typical of police.


                        Description age about 34 or 35. height 5ft6 complexion pale, dark eyes and eye lashes slight moustache, curled up each end, and hair dark, very surley looking dress long dark coat, collar and cuffs trimmed astracan. And a dark jacket under. Light waistcoat dark trousers dark felt hat turned down in the middle. Button boots and gaiters with white buttons. Wore a very thick gold chain white linen collar. Black tie with horse shoe pin. Respectable appearance walked very sharp. Jewish appearance. Can be identified.

                        With reference to the quote from Neil's book. If we look at the witness statements taken by Abberline on 9 Nov. at Millers Court, we can see those notes were taken in his pocketbook (note size & shape of paper). Not on a special form like with Hutchinson.
                        Regards, Jon S.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

                          Why should it change from 1888 ?

                          www.trevormarriott.co.uk
                          There have been several changes in the treatment of the witness & their statement since 1888.
                          Regards, Jon S.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by harry View Post
                            Trevor,
                            But we know that in the Hutchinson statement,the words used were,"can be identified".Of course other descriptions would also surfice,but they were not used, and there is no evidence for Wickerman claim,that the whole paragraph was changed by Badham,from what Hutchinson actually said,to one Badham felt was more appropriate.No evidence whatsoever.
                            The way I see it you are confusing the 'sequence of events' provided by Hutchinson, with a condensed version of Hutchinson's 'suspect' description, in a format provided by Badham.
                            Regards, Jon S.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                              I am not a Policeman but with due respect, - Button boots and gaiters with white buttons. Wore a very thick gold chain white linen collar. Black tie with horseshoe pin. That seems to me Hutchinson describing the man in great detail. Not Badham asking did he have a tie on, was he wearing jewellery etc
                              Also looking at his statement in the Ult Sourcebook his name is at the bottom of it with Badham's underneath. So I am assuming here that Hutchinson read, was happy with Badham's notes, and signed the statement. If he thought that Badham was putting words into his mouth he would surely have said so and not signed the document.
                              another very sensible post DK!
                              "Is all that we see or seem
                              but a dream within a dream?"

                              -Edgar Allan Poe


                              "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                              quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                              -Frederick G. Abberline

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Darryl Kenyon View Post
                                I am not a Policeman but with due respect, - Button boots and gaiters with white buttons. Wore a very thick gold chain white linen collar. Black tie with horseshoe pin. That seems to me Hutchinson describing the man in great detail. Not Badham asking did he have a tie on, was he wearing jewellery etc.
                                What you suggest might be difficult to distinguish.
                                The witness gives a sentence to the officer, but the officer rewords what he hears if the witness is not speaking coherently. The officer still used all the words spoken by the witness, just rearranged in a more presentable fashion.

                                If you look at Bowyer's statement to Abberline on 9 Nov. you will see Abberline took his statement down in third-hand - "he said, he did, he saw". Whereas, in all the other statements he wrote their stories in first-hand - "I said, I did, I saw".

                                So here we have an example of the interviewing officer using his own phrasing instead of a verbatim account. Abberline also added words of his own "(Insp Beck)" - obviously for clarity.


                                Also looking at his statement in the Ult Sourcebook his name is at the bottom of it with Badham's underneath. So I am assuming here that Hutchinson read, was happy with Badham's notes, and signed the statement. If he thought that Badham was putting words into his mouth he would surely have said so and not signed the document.
                                Not really, Hutchinson will sign the statement provided he is happy it presents his story as he offered it. This doesn't mean the exact phrasing had to be used.
                                It must be remembered, the local public were not always well educated. An officer can use more precise structure in a sentence, without changing any words, because of his schooling.
                                Last edited by Wickerman; 07-16-2018, 06:46 AM.
                                Regards, Jon S.

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