Ministry of Justice guide stated defendants had to prove their innocence

Ministry of Justice officials have been forced to remove ‘terribly wrong’ guidance for disabled people which suggested that suspects had to prove their innocence when accused of a crime.

The guide uses illustrations and text to help people understand the court process. It states: “If you say you did not do a crime, you may have to go back to the Court on a different day, to show the Court you did not do the crime. This is called a trial.”

The guide tells defendants that they have to prove they are innocent.  This is a reversal of the actual burden of proof – it is, of course, for the prosecution to prove to the court a defendant is guilty.

The simplified guide used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told the Independent: “Easy-read guides are an important way of providing information to people in simple and straightforward language. It is crucial to ensure these documents are precise and as helpful as possible. We are reviewing this guide and have removed it from our website while this process takes place.”