The admission of certain evidence in relation to an offence of conspiracy to provide heroin, including evidence of traces of cocaine at the accused’s house and a covert conversation between alleged co-conspirators, had not rendered the consequent conviction unsafe. The judge’s clear directions to the jury in relation to that evidence meant that the offender had not been prejudiced by its admission.
ADEQUACY OF JURY DIRECTIONS
An appeal against conviction for an offence of making indecent photographs of children was allowed as there were trial irregularities and inadequate jury directions relating to the decency of images.
A judge had not erred in refusing to stay proceedings for abuse of process in a trial concerning sexual offences which took place after the death of a defence witness, where there was no suggestion that the witness would have given unique or striking evidence, and the judge had properly directed the jury on the matter so as not to render the trial unfair.
A conviction for attempted murder was unsafe because, where evidence of the defendant’s previous convictions had been admitted under the Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 art.6(1)(f) so as to correct a false impression purportedly given by the defendant, the judge did not carry out a balancing exercise to weigh the prejudicial effect of the bad character evidence against its relevance and importance, and failed to give the jury an adequate direction that it related only to the issue of false impression and could not be evidence of propensity to carry out an assault with murderous intent.
A conviction based on identification made from closed-circuit television images was unsafe where the judge had given inadequate directions to the jury as to the possibility of mistaken identity and had wrongly treated the identification as an established fact.