A person who saw, heard or found something that might be important in a criminal case.
A witness can give evidence for the defence or the prosecution.
A prosecution witness will usually speak to a police officer who will write down what they have said in a written witness statement. A defence witness will usually speak to a solicitor who will write down what they know in a witness statement. A witness statement is usually signed. In some cases a witness’ evidence is video recorded.
Sometimes a witness statement is read aloud in court. In other cases the witness will have to attend court to give evidence.
Victim Support have developed an interactive courtroom to help young witnesses know what they should expect if they have to go to court. Witnesses under the age of 18 will automatically be eligible for special measures.