Any person, who knew me of old, would know that I was not a person to hold back on commenting. I would sit and wait for the opportune moment, and then in my dulcet and authoritative tones, I would release my profound information 'bid' into the discussion, succinctly injecting realism. Much the way the self-confident 'wild card' bidder at auction operates, knowing their ceiling price and that they need to bid in a serious way deflecting the chaff from others. This is a risky strategy and is aimed to disarm those who prevaricate, who seem to want to listen to their own voices.
The gravitas of being arrested lead to a much quieter me. On arrest, you are told: "You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
According to the 'Lawteacher' website, this does pose many questions about the whole process of interrogation and of the release of information. It's a process that does not cultivate trust between any innocent person and the Police.
'Tortures and forced confessions in interrogating suspects were well known to happen in most nations. Public authorities, such as the police had used this kind of method of interrogation in investigating suspects and forcing the suspects to expose the evidence and information which are vital to them. It is well known that any uncontrolled power or prerogatives would lead to abuse and this is true with some powers which are exercised by the public authorities. In accordance to this, the right to silence or the right to remain silent emerged to protect the rights of suspects. Since the existence of the right to silence, suspects acquired the right to remain silent in interrogation and in trial. Exposure of information is up to the defendant, he may or may not say anything during trial. Unfortunately, this right is (now) countered by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA).'
Where a prosecution comes into play, a court may later ask for explanations for the defendant remaining silent, but not necessarily will the Court draw an adverse inference, and they are assessed on a case by case basis.
However, the Police and the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) can and do withhold information from the defending solicitor, sometimes to the last minutes of a trial, which may result in the solicitor being unable to give appropriate advice to the defendant. This is an affront to justice, as it is frowned upon with a defendant withholding information, although it has become accepted practice that the Police service can withhold vital information only to drive forward a melicious prosecution. One of the most notorious cases was with Liam Allan, a student, who was accused of multiple rape. Having gone through extensive character destroying proceedings for rape, the CPS (at the eleven hour) released the text messages from the complainent's mobile phone and these were given to Liam's solicitor. These revealed that far from it being a matter of 'Rape', it was consesual sex and in one message the accuser texted about 'violent sex' and wanting to be 'raped'. The case fell apart, seeing the public humiliation of the CPS and revealed the lengths they would go to in persuing a prosecution, rather than justice.
Advantages of Answering ‘No Comment’
The clear advantage of not answering police questions during an interview is that a suspect would not add strength to the prosecution case, which in certain circumstances may leave the prosecution with insufficient evidence to charge a suspect with a criminal offence. However, taking this course of action may result in an adverse inference and may weaken a defence if the matter progresses to trial. Part of an adverse inference, of making 'No Comment' answers, and not revealing 'all' is an assumption that you have things to hide and are being awkward. Some may describe the actions of an accused person, when answering "No Comment" to be truculent and a delaying action in their response.
In my case, it was purely a matter of not being able to comment on non existent evidence, additionally, most of the questions I was asked about related to programmes that I did not have on my computer system. I conceded to the advice given to me by the duty solicitor, he told me that 'with the complete lack of evidence' (against me), I was to answer "No Comment" with most questions, until such a time as the Police presented tangible evidence or witness claims.
'Evidently' they have never presented anything to me and arrested me in the nugatory approach of 'arresting because we can!'