In 2014 the Court of Appeal ruled that expert evidence obtained after a jury had convicted an individual, Mr Thompson, for sexual offences against children rendered the convictions unsafe. The evidence of two experts diagnosed him as having Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. The Court of Appeal concluded that the expert evidence was both relevant and of some probative importance to the issues considered by the jury.
Think about for one moment how someone with autism might feel, locked in a small dark or over-lit cell with metal doors banging loudly, while listening to those under the influence of drugs and alcohol scream and shout around them. Then ask them to give coherent and quality evidence in a room they are unfamiliar with with people they have never met. How could an intermediary assist them and the court?