ADEQUACY OF JURY DIRECTIONS

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.

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.

[2013] EWCA Crim 660

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.

[2012] EWCA Crim 2920

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.

[2011] NICA 56

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.

[2008] EWCA Crim 1522

A conviction for sexual assault of a female under the age of 13 was safe where the judge’s summing up in relation to identification evidence could not be criticised and, although the judge had given some implied indication of his own view on the identification issue to the jury, he had indicated to them that the issues of fact were for them and not for him to decide.

[2007] EWCA Crim 2896

The admission of a witness statement of a complainant who had died prior to trial was not a breach of a defendant’s right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.6 .

[2005] EWCA Crim 2697

The defendants’ conviction for attempted murder was safe, as the judge had not omitted anything that amounted to a substantial flaw in his summing-up. The judge did not fail to tailor the Turnbull directions to what were in fact the matters for the jury to consider and had given full and satisfactory direction upon joint enterprise.

[2004] EWCA Crim 2102

A judge had rightly recognised that the admission of evidence in relation to the appellant’s previous conviction would cause undue prejudice to him. However, he had failed in removing the prejudice to the appellant by not discharging the jury from considering the charges against him or by giving a strong and consistent direction that the previous conviction was irrelevant to matters of propensity.

[2004] EWCA Crim 1254

The Privy Council dismissed appeals against convictions for murder rejecting all the grounds of appeal which included alleged misdirections by the judge in relation to the law of joint enterprise, identification, fingerprint evidence, a spontaneous statement by the deceased and the standard of proof.

The defendant’s appeal against his double convictions for murder in Belize was successful because the jury had not been properly directed in respect his defence, namely self-defence, and as to the issue of provocation.

[2001] UKPC 26