CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

A magistrates’ court had erred in allowing a submission of no case to answer dismissing a charge of battery on the basis that, in the absence of any visible injury and the victim’s evidence, the video and audio evidence relied on by the prosecution was tenuous and vague. There was no doubt that the evidence was sufficient to support a conviction and the court quashed the decision, directing that the case be retried by a differently constituted bench.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2486 [2018] EWCA Crim 2486

At a trial for conspiracy to defraud by dishonestly making a false representation, it had not been necessary for a judge to exclude under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 s.78 evidence of a co-accused’s guilty plea that had been admitted under s.74. Whilst the evidence raised difficulties for the defence on the issue of the genuineness of a purportedly forged will, it did not have a similar impact upon the other issues which the jury had to resolve and, overall, its introduction was not unfair.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2435 [2018] EWCA Crim 2435

A construction site manager’s conviction for gross negligence manslaughter following a labourer’s death after a trench that he was either standing in or at the edge of collapsed was upheld. The manager had argued that there was no evidence that he had seen the trench being dug in an unsafe manner, but the factual matrix was that it was a question of when, not if, the trench would collapse, and that was, or should, have been apparent to anybody.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2426 [2018] EWCA Crim 2426

A judge’s decision to stay a prosecution as an abuse of process on the basis of a failure by the prosecution to properly pursue a line of enquiry when investigating allegations of sexual assault was wrong in principle and did not constitute a reasonable exercise of his discretion.

[2018] EWHC 2908 (Admin) [2018] EWHC 2908 (Admin)

The court quashed convictions where critical information had been taken from the Preparation for Effective Trial form and wrongly treated as evidence.