I will not bore you with extensive details on how the English Judicial system works. However, in a nutshell it is split into civil and criminal matters. My previous article discussed my experience in the county court, where all civil matters begin. In this article, I will discuss much bigger matters, criminal matters, which start in the magistrates court and can go up to the crown court. It is a completely different game.
Normally, I would sit next to my solicitor in front of the judge almost as an overlooker. For the first time I ever went to a hearing in a criminal court against the Council prosecution, I was placed in a glass box in the back of the room. For the younger version of Paolo Aliatis, the whole thing seemed like something you see in a movie. I actually really wanted to take a selfie but I did not want to disrespect the court and the judge, but it was an interesting case for sure.
In all my matters, I have taken advice from all different kinds of people. In this instance, I managed to be convinced that the worst thing that could ever happen to me would be a fine. However, it is not uncommon for things to go wrong. A lot of the times things could go wrong and I know this because I have seen judges and juries persuaded by a view that is not favourable to you regardless of the amount of evidence behind it. In this instance, I understood that I was in a relatively safe situation and like I said the worst thing that could happen was that I would end up with a fine, which I was willing to pay.
Usually I found the opposition very incompetent. What amazed me is the huge power that the prosecution has to change or reformulate the main charges whenever they want, however they want, to whomever they want. This is irrespective of the evidence that they need, as the burden of proof remains with them. It will be a 100% win for the prosecution because that individual would not manage to defend themselves because of all these changes of heart, changes of thought and changes of charges that require a reformulation of the defence every time which costs even more money. Thank God, I had lots of businesses and it did not matter how much it would have cost me because I had the resources to defend myself properly.
In my first case I, Gian Paolo Aliatis, was allegedly running unlicensed HMOs. The Council was tipped off by a neighbouring council as per their own admission about my case. I saw the Council drop all the charges the night before the trial knowing all that time that they were going to lose because I was innocent and they did not have enough evidence to prove any case against me. Nevertheless, they managed to make me spend money until the very end.