A woman who worked for a firm representing a defendant's legal team in a kidnap trial and unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade a key witness from attending court to give evidence has been jailed.
Eylem Kahraman, 31 (30.09.86), of Bursland Road, EN3, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday, 19 January. She was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at the same court on Friday, 22 December.
On 15 August 2016, a kidnap trial commenced at Wood Green Crown Court. Kahraman was part of the legal team representing the defendant.
The trial commenced in the morning but encountered issues because the key prosecution witness failed to turn up.
Enquiries were made to locate the witness and a time limit was set for the prosecution to locate her and bring her to court.
The officer in the case managed to locate the witness; she said she was too scared to go to the trial, but she refused to elaborate on why.
The witness was then taken to Wood Green Crown Court by a police officer and accompanied by a family member.
While in the witness care room at the court, the witness received a WhatsApp message from Kahraman. The family member alerted the police officer who then viewed several messages on the witness's phone from Kahraman.
Subsequent enquiries revealed that the witness had been contacted numerous times since 9 August 2016, primarily by text message, by Kahraman who was trying to persuade the witness not to attend court and give evidence.
Kahraman was then arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, which she denied. She was charged on 16 August 2016.
Detective Constable Karl Latham, the investigating officer from Haringey CID, said:
"The sentence today reiterates the fact that everybody involved in the criminal justice system has to act professionally and in line with the codes of practice and codes of conduct to allow for all parties to have a fair trial.
"Kahraman's actions showed a disrespect for the criminal justice system and the sentence passed by His Honour Judge Shetty today should act as a deterrent and serve as a warning that foul play from any person involved in the criminal justice system will be dealt with robustly."