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.
The court quashed convictions where critical information had been taken from the Preparation for Effective Trial form and wrongly treated as evidence.
The court upheld a defendant’s conviction for conspiracy to possess prohibited weapons. The judge had been entitled to admit evidence of the defendant’s previous convictions under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.101(1)(f) after concluding that he had given a false impression about his history of drug dealing. However, a further conviction for conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life was unsafe because there was no evidence upon which a properly directed jury could have concluded that such a conspiracy existed between the defendant and any other person.
Material relevant to demonstrating the mindset of those convicted of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation was admissible at trial in order to allow the jury to consider the appellants’ actual views and their willingness to express violent Jihadi views to others. Since none of the material was the subject of any allegation against an appellant, its relevance had been properly explained in jury directions and the defence’s case had been properly set out, there was no possibility of improper or prejudicial use being made of the evidence.
In the context of a mother’s application to commit her children’s father to prison for making false statements of truth and breaching court orders in connection with securing the return of the children from Nigeria, the court considered that transcripts of conversations between the father and another man, which took place whilst the father was serving a prison sentence, were admissible. Although the transcripts had been improperly obtained, their provision had been a mistake rather than a deliberate act.