Clare London (clarelondon) wrote in little_details,
Clare London

Withholding evidence of a murder (UK)

Hi, and thanks for the opportunity to ask my question.

My story is a contemporary, set in the UK. My hero was homeless and mixed up in the drug trade in London for a year as a courier, so he avoided the police as much as possible. One night he was walking a friend home when the friend was attacked, stabbed and killed. My hero recognised the attacker as an addict he'd often supplied, working for the same drug dealer. My hero was grief-stricken about his friend and scared of being involved, so he ran away. He was never identified at the scene, and the crime is still an open case.

A year later, he's living on the South coast and trying to get his life back on track. He wants to go to the police and tell them he was there that night, knew the murderer, knows background info about the drug dealers.

Would he be charged with anything formal? Would he be given any kind of sentence, like community work? Would he be treated leniently because of the info and help he can now give the police?

He has plenty of people now - friends, employer - to speak on his behalf. He didn't actually obstruct anything and wasn't involved in the crime. There were other witnesses to the murder, but none of them have ever admitted seeing anything. He has plenty of info to give the police to let them charge the dealers and close the file on the murder (the murderer is now dead as well).

I've struggled to find how/what to search for this.
The UK Probation service assumes someone has been charged with a crime first.
Criminal sentencing sites also assume culpability, or obstruction of justice (unless this counts as that?).
"Leaving the scene of an accident" leads mainly to motoring crime.
"Witness to a murder, not coming forward" assumes an involvement in the murder.
I've asked a policeman friend, but he hasn't come back to me yet. I'm nervous of asking at the police station in case they think it's a true situation LOL.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Many thanks
Tags: uk: government: law enforcement
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