An offender’s conviction for murder was safe where his argument on appeal was essentially that the trial process was rendered unfair by a series of decisions, each of which was beyond criticism, to allow the prosecution to adduce evidence that was properly admissible and probative of his guilt. EWCA Crim 2950
ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
Where the victim of a robbery had identified the defendant in the street by twice being driven past him by the police, the second identification, during which police officers had stood by the defendant, did not breach the PACE codes of practice Code D, para.3.4, because there had been only one continuous identification procedure. EWHC 660 (Admin)
In the circumstances evidence of distress was admissible to explain an inconsistent statement made by a victim of rape. The exercise of discretion not to warn the jury of the need for caution when considering the victim’s evidence was not Wednesbury unreasonable. EWCA Crim 2975
A defendant in a joint trial had an unquestionable right to lead relevant evidence including evidence of an admission made by the co-defendant, even though not used by the Crown, and evidence of the defendant’s previous aggressive behaviour which could go to propensity. EWCA Crim 1359
The appellant’s conviction was rendered unsafe by the exclusion of evidence which suggested that another may have committed the offence. EWCA Crim 1388
The trial court and Court of Appeal were not prevented by s.8 Contempt of Court Act 1981 from investigating the conduct of a trial, but evidence of the jury’s deliberations was not admissible on appeal. UKHL 2
Convictions for two counts of being knowingly concerned in fraudulently evading duty on tobacco was safe as the judge had correctly ruled that diary entries relating to other instances of importation of tobacco were admissible to rebut the assertion of ignorance and innocence in relation to the unlawful activities in question, and there was no risk that the jury members might have allowed themselves to indulge in prohibited reasoning. EWCA Crim 3577
Where a defendant was protected by the principle of doli incapax and where as a matter of law at that time, the defendant was deemed incapable of committing an offence of buggery, that protection did not extend to make the evidence inadmissible as background evidence to similar offences. EWCA Crim 3024
The appeal against conviction for murder was dismissed as relevant evidence concerning motive had properly been admitted, the jury had not been misdirected and the defendant’s solicitor’s advice in police interviews was not open to criticism. EWCA Crim 1379
In a case where it was claimed that journalists had unfairly obtained taped conversations in a conspiracy to commit violent disorder at football matches, and where the content of the tapes had been agreed and the issue was whether the accused had been serious in their comments, there was no unfairness and a considerable public interest in allowing the tapes to be put before a jury. Sentences were reduced by six months to reflect an unreasonable delay in the appeal process. EWCA Crim 2855
An appeal against conviction following a guilty plea failed as there had been no unfair abuse of process in the non-disclosure by the Crown of authorities under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 relating to police surveillance, and that surveillance had been lawful. EWCA Crim 3012
Where the jury had been bound to decide a case on written and signed documentation evidence, evidence of the credibility of a police officer involved, who had subsequently left the force after unconnected disciplinary matters, was not admissible and would have had no effect on the jury’s findings. EWCA Crim 2359
When giving case management directions in a libel action, the judge had been correct not to order a trial of preliminary issues due to the complexity of the defences raised and the likelihood of delaying trial, and had been correct in not allowing the defendants to introduce similar fact evidence due to it potentially distracting the jury from the central issues in the case. EWCA Civ 1087
Judicially authenticated transcripts of evidence came within Sch.1 para.12 Extradition Act 1989 without the need for formal adoption by the maker, and the evidence contained in them was therefore admissible. * Leave to appeal to the House of Lords refused. EWHC 1144 (Admin)
Where, with regard to a certificate of analysis, no objection had been taken to the wording of the charge, a magistrate had not erred by admitting it in evidence despite the fact that the requirements regarding notice had not been satisfied. UKPC 18
The covert tape recording of conversations between suspected offenders whilst they were under arrest and detained in police cells, although infringing the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Art.8, were not in direct conflict with any provision of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 or the PACE codes and the trial judge was entitled to admit the evidence under his discretion. EWCA Crim 385
There was no fault in either the judge’s decision not to exclude evidence obtained by means of intrusive surveillance devices, pursuant to s.78 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, or in declining to order further disclosure by the prosecution. Furthermore, there was no fault in refusing to stay the proceedings on the grounds of abuse of process. Consequently the appeals were dismissed. EWCA Crim 1829
There was no reason why the principle by which a witness was permitted to refresh his memory should be confined to reading a piece of paper. If modern technology provided for a better or different means for the same purpose it should be available for use in court. The criteria applied concerning fairness contained in Art.6 European Convention on Human Rights were the same criteria that would be applied when considering an application for exclusion of evidence under s.78 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. EWCA Crim 733
Paragraph B1.3 Code of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 should be regarded as applying generally to the search of premises. An occupier was not deprived of the protection of the code merely because, at the time, he was viewed as a victim rather than a suspect.
Communications made by a defendant after the commission of an offence which culminated in the altering of evidence was probative and relevant evidence of his involvement in the offence for the jury to evaluate, as was the evidence of the tampering itself. Evidence of a defendant’s disappearance from the locality immediately after the offence was also probative and admissible if sufficiently linked in time and circumstance.
Where a letter of complaint was written and adduced as evidence of a recent complaint, it was not necessary that it had been communicated to another. Each case had to be determined on the evidence in issue, but the critical factor was the character of the letter which was to be determined by looking at the form and content of the letter itself.