Career fallout from a legal blast 2

October 18, 2002

I am a colleague of Richard Barker, although I do not know him personally. I do, however, know something about the psychology of child testimony, having published in that area. I cannot agree with the argument of Richard Webster who insists that Barker be dismissed. Barker is criticised for the way he gained access to video footage of child testimony in the Shieldfield inquiry.

The criminal court ruled this video evidence inadmissible. Surely the police are partly to blame for not releasing key video evidence unless given certain assurances? And was not the greater crime, then, that of the child interviewers, who should have used appropriate methods?

Pamela Briggs
Chair of applied cognitive psychology
Northumbria University

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