The Terrorism Act 2000

Question

Tommy is friends with James and Bill, who are members of an action group called ‘Down with Capitalism’. He speaks to them often as they are old school-friends and they often meet up for drinks in town or at each other’s houses for meals.

James and Bill, as part of their campaign for ‘Down with Capitalism’, break into the National Bank of Britannia and place a bomb which detonates an hour later. James and Bill are caught and face conviction for terrorism related offences. After investigation, the police discover Tommy’s links with James and Bill and believe he is connected directly with ‘Down with Capitalism’.

The police have covertly been carrying out surveillance at James’ house as they are aware of ‘Down with Capitalism’ and the group’s agenda. They have a recording from a bugging device which the police believe to be Tommy’s voice actively discussing the group’s future plans.

PC Michelin, who is leading the investigation, calls in Joyce, a phoneticist, who compares the telephone conversation with recordings of Tommy’s voice. Joyce concludes that the recordings are of the same person. Savill has developed a system of comparing voices by meticulous listening to recordings of the suspect and the recordings of the event itself. His article on the technique in the journal, International and Comparative Phonetics, was criticised by other phoneticists for its overly subjective approach and its lack of methodological rigour. The technique has not become generally accepted in the field of phonetics.

When arrested, Tommy is taken to the police station where he is placed in the cells prior to interview. Whilst in the cells, PC Goodyear constantly tells him that he might as well admit that he was involved with ‘Down with Capitalism’ because they will get him to confess anyway. He tells Tommy that if he confesses, they would release him on bail but if he doesn’t confess they will apply for him to be remanded in custody pending the case going to court. Tommy is a single parent with two very young children. During interview, the officers are very aggressive and shout and scream in Tommy’s face in an attempt to get him to confess. He later says in his third interview that he is a member of ‘Down with Capitalism’ as he is desperate to get home to his children.
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The police charge him with being a member of a terrorist group contrary to s.11(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Advise Tommy regarding the evidential issues that may arise

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