VULNERABLE DEFENDANTS

Ten easy steps to Intermediary support for your client  (2 min video) or Download Guide

The intermediary special measure has been available to vulnerable witnesses since 2004.  With regard to vulnerable defendants, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 Section 104 is awaiting implementation, and in line with this, HM Courts have issued operational guidance on the use of intermediaries for defendants.  A judge can use inherent powers to grant an intermediary for a defendant.  Since October 2013 the Ministry of Justice reimburses individual courts for this expenditure.


 Research by the Prison Reform Trust shows that:

         over 60% of children who offend have communication difficulties, and of this group,

approx 50% have poor or very poor communication skills

approx 25% of children who offend have an IQ of less than 75

7% of adult offenders have an IQ of less than 70

25% of adult offenders have an IQ between 70 and 79


If your defendant has learning difficulties or mental health issues which are affecting their ability to understand and communicate, he/she may benefit from being assessed by an intermediary.  The intermediary will then submit a comprehensive report with recommendations to help the defendant to prepare for and participate in the trial.  This may involve the use of an intermediary at any of these stages, or may give guidelines to follow which do not necessitate an intermediary being present.  On some occasions, the intermediary will conclude that an intermediary cannot assist as the defendant is functioning at too low a communicative level.

Ten Easy Steps to Intermediary Support for your client (2 min video) or Download Guide

CALL 0121 663 0931 to find out more.  Or send us a message using our Contacts page.