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  Witness Service in your area
Witness Service Phone number
Laganside Courts Complex(028) 9023 2523

For many witnesses and victims, going to court can be a frightening and bewildering experience. Problems may include: not knowing what is expected: receiving inadequate information about court procedures, court layout or the role of various court personnel; and having to wait, often for long periods, in the same area as the defendant and his/her supporters. Giving evidence itself can be difficult and may mean a public airing of unpleasant events, including accusing another person of serious crime and the resultant fear that this may produce. Witnesses may also not understand or feel prepared for the process of cross-examination.

Victim Support's Witness Service offers information and support to any adult witness who needs it in Belfast Crown Court. The Witness Service can also help victims and the families of witnesses and victims in court.

Where children are witnesses, the NSPCC are the lead agency for service provision, and do this in partnership with Victim Support.

The Witness Service can offer:

  • someone to talk to in confidence
  • a visit to the court and where possible, a look round a court room before you are called as a witness
  • information on court procedures
  • a quiet place to wait before and during the hearing
  • someone to accompany you into the court room when giving evidence
  • practical help, for example, with expense forms
  • to put you in touch with people who can answer specific questions about the case (the Witness Service cannot discuss evidence or offer legal advice)
  • a chance to talk over the case when it has ended and to get more help or information.

©2002 Victim Support Northern Ireland

Victim Support Northern Ireland
Annsgate House, 70/74 Ann Street, Belfast BT1 4EH
Tel: 028 9024 4039
Fax: 02890 313838
e-mail: info@victimsupportni.org.uk