I understand the defence in a recent homicide & wounding case has objected to the victim reading out their Victim Personal Statement before sentencing. The defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity (which I understand is a ‘special verdict’).
I’d always thought that VPS can’t actually influence the judge’s sentencing decision - (see pages 12/13 here), and that the entitlement to make a statement is in the Victims Code of Practice - so I’m not sure on what basis any such objection can legitimately be raised.
This has caused great additional distress to the victim on top of the substantial physical and psychological injuries they have already suffered. As yet, I understand, no explanation has been given.
Is this just an anomaly of the ‘special verdict’?
Would be grateful for any thoughts.