CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

[2018] EWCA Crim 739 [2018] EWCA Crim 739

The court upheld an offender’s convictions for murder and attempted murder following the fatal shooting of a member of a rival gang.

[2018] EWCA Crim 552 [2018] EWCA Crim 552

An appellant’s convictions for conspiracy to import and supply class A drugs were safe. Decisions taken during the trial by defence counsel to adduce evidence of the appellant’s previous convictions, to call a co-accused as a witness and not to correct an alleged omission from the defence statement were not unreasonable or outside the range of decisions open to competent counsel.

[2018] EWCA Crim 538 [2018] EWCA Crim 538

Evidence of a step-father’s controlling behaviour towards his wife and step-son had been relevant evidence at his trial for 16 sexual offences against his step-daughter, as his defence was that his step-daughter was lying and exaggerating his controlling behaviour and the evidence was relevant to the issue of her credibility. A total sentence of 22 years’ imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.

A district judge had been correct to refuse to order the Crown to disclose a sample of blood taken from a motorist who had been arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis. The motorist had declined to take the sample when it was offered to him in compliance with the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 s.15(5) and his application had been a fishing expedition made in the hope that it might undermine the prosecution’s case.

[2018] EWHC 544 (Admin) [2018] EWHC 544 (Admin)

The best evidence rule, which went to the admissibility of a document as evidence, was conceptually distinct from the law on memory-refreshing documents, which did not turn on admissibility as the document was not adduced in evidence at all. If the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.139(1) requirements were met, a witness could refresh their memory from an original document or a copy, if the copy was likely to be an accurate reflection of the original’s content and the witness had verified either the original or the copy at a time when their recall was better.