CRIMINAL EVIDENCE

[2018] EWCA Crim 2816 [2018] EWCA Crim 2816

The conviction of a vulnerable adult with a severe learning disability for the offence of sexual activity by a care worker with a person with a mental disability was unsafe, and was accordingly quashed, where inadequate consideration had been given to his learning disability in the course of the trial. Fresh psychological evidence demonstrated that he would have had difficulty in dealing with leading questions asked in cross-examination, and that might have left the jury with a false impression.

[2018] EWCA Crim 2809 [2018] EWCA Crim 2809

There was no material difference between English law and the European Court of Human Rights’ jurisprudence regarding the doctrine of entrapment such as to cast any doubt on Attorney General’s Reference (No.3 of 2000) [2001] UKHL 53 complying with ECHR art.6.

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.