THE CROWN COURT AT BLACKFRIARSTHE QUEENv.D (R)JUDGMENT OF H.H. JUDGE PETER MURPHY IN RELATION TO WEARINGOF NIQAAB BY DEFENDANT DURING PROCEEDINGS IN CROWN COURTCounsel for the Prosecution: Ms. Kate WilkinsonCounsel for the Defence: Ms. Susan Meek Introduction1. The defendant, to whom I shall refer in this judgment as D, is a woman who has been charged on indictment at this court with a single count of witness intimidation.The facts alleged are not relevant for the purposes of this judgment, except for the factthat the defendant is alleged to have committed the offence while wearing the burq’aand niqaab,
and no issue of visual identification will arise at trial.2. The question now before me was initially raised by the Court of its own motion,and not by the prosecution or the defence. The case was listed before me for a pleaand case management hearing on 22 August 2013. A person, who both the prosecution and the defence agreed was D, appeared and surrendered to the dock. Dwas wearing a burq’a and niqaab. (I understand that burq’a is the term applied to the black loose shroud which covers the head and body, and that niqaab is the termapplied to the black veil which covers the entire face, except for the eyes. In case myunderstanding is wrong, and so that there is no doubt, my concern is with the coveringof the face, by whatever means that may be achieved. I am not concerned with any
As frequently happens with words of foreign origin, various spellings are found in different sources.For simplicity, I have adopted uniform spellings of niqaab and burq’a.