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Anyone with further information on the case is asked to call Chester County Detective Joseph Nangle at 610-344-6866.
In any event, where implied threats of violence to, or ostracism of, grasses are part of the culture of a community, these will often be quite sufficient in themselves to deter potential witnesses.
The evidence of a detective officer quoted by the Court of Appeal in paragraph 9 of its judgment paints an all too graphic picture. In the present case the judge was satisfied that the witnesses in question had genuine and reasonable grounds for fearing the consequences if their identities were revealed. So we are not dealing with the comparatively common situation where, for example, potential witnesses, who are reluctant to give evidence against a fellow gang member, try to use supposed threats as an excuse for not going to court.
In communities where guns or drug-dealing are part of the culture, people will often refuse to tell the police anything, except on the basis that their identities will not be revealed.
In due course the Crown Prosecution Service is presented with evidence obtained on that basis.
Prosecutors have made note of a rap music video posted to You Tube in May 2015 in which Wylie appears to be seen acting out the murder of a witness in a criminal case.
According to the Chester County District Attorney's Office, Kenneth “War” Wylie, 25, has pending criminal charges against him concerning the sale of drugs in Coatesville. 20 at the Chester County Justice Center and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing the next day.The Crown does not allege that the appellant was responsible for threatening the potential witnesses.Nor does the material available to the House identify any specific threats that were made to the witnesses. Leaving the present case on one side, it is obvious that, if people are frightened to give evidence about some crime which they have witnessed, they will be equally frightened to give evidence about any threats that may have been made to deter them from giving evidence.But, as in England, the principle is so deeply embedded that it scarcely needs stating by the Scottish courts and is often best detected by implication from other rules.One basic rule has always been that, when serving an indictment, the Crown must attach a list of the witnesses whom it intends to call, along with their addresses.By the time the matter comes on for trial, the court is really faced with a fait accompli. My noble and learned friends, Lord Bingham of Cornhill and Lord Carswell, have surveyed the domestic case law which has been developed in these circumstances.