Defence lawyer Andrew Kendall implies that domestic violence victim may have lied about her attack because her injuries are not sufficient enough for an attack involving two hammer. Please see my letter of complaint to Mr Kendall’s firm Apex Chambers. (Apexchambers.net)
20 Cathedral Rd
1st May 2017
FOA All Partners
Dear Sir/ Madam
A barrister instructed by your firm has been reported in the press over the weekend as making deeply worrying and unacceptable comments while defending a client charged with Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
Andrew Kendall suggested that the injuries sustained by the victim at the hands of his client, Mohsin Akram, should have been ‘drastically worse’ considering the vicious attack involved the use of not one but two hammers.
This type of language is wholly unacceptable and deeply insulting to not only the victim but also to all victims of domestic violence and abuse. It gives the impression that the victim has either been untruthful or has embellished her account of what has happened to her. In this case, there were multiple witnesses who came across the victim immediately after attack as well as medical evidence that backed up the claims made by the victim.
Less than two weeks ago, I was the principle organiser of an event held at the House of Commons, sponsored by Khalid Mahmood MP, to discuss whether the UK legal system was letting down victims of domestic violence, abuse and harassment. At the event, both Khalid Mahmood MP and Dawn Butler MP called for a public enquiry into the way victims are treated by the legal system in this country.
It seems clear to me that the attitudes of defence solicitors and barristers also need to be subjected to public scrutiny to see whether they have crossed the line from questioning the victims to disparaging and bullying them.
I now call on you, as partner, to distance yourself from the comments made by Mr Kendal while representing your firm and to further condemn all types of actions that may lead to victims feeling further attacked and their horrendous experiences of violence and abuse trivialised while they are giving evidence of their abuse. I further ask that you request Mr Kendall to undergo further training so as to understand the full, long term impact of domestic abuse and harassment on a victim, often exacerbated when he or she has to give evidence against their abuser.
Writer and Editor,
Asian Mums Network